Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate Race

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2021, file photo Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during former President Donald Trump's Save America rally in Perry, Ga. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, Oct. 27, endorsed Herschel Walker’s Republican primary bid for a Senate seat in Georgia. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)
AP Photo/Ben Gray, File

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday endorsed Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate in Georgia.

“I am happy to endorse Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate in Georgia,” McConnell said.” Herschel is the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator [Raphael] Warnock, and help us take back the Senate. I look forward to working with Herschel in Washington to get the job done.”

In his own statement, Walker praised McConnell for “his commitment to bringing the party together toward the collective goal of defeating Senator Warnock.” Walker added, “The Democrats have already said they will spend whatever it takes to keep Georgia blue. The stakes have never been higher — if we all work together, we will win next November, and take back the Senate.”

McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talks with reporters following the weekly Republican Senate conference meeting in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol December 01, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Walker’s campaign kicked off in August with the support of former President Donald Trump, who encouraged Walker to run in the months leading up to his official announcement.

McConnell’s endorsement comes just days after Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) endorsed Walker, marking Walker’s first endorsement from the GOP’s Senate leadership team. With both McConnell and Thune’s blessings, Walker’s support from the Republican Party establishment is cemented.

Republican leaders were hesitant to endorse Walker, worrying about the football star’s lack of political experience and reports alleging domestic abuse and financial mismanagement.

Herschel Walker

Former President Donald Trump listens as Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, GA, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

Walker’s fundraising efforts and decision to break with Trump over voter fraud messaging contributed to Republican leadership’s change of heart. Despite launching his campaign in late August, Walker raised $3.7 million through the end of third-quarter fundraising in September. Walker distanced himself from Trump’s effort to get Republicans to sit out from the midterm elections until voter fraud is addressed, saying, “everyone has to get out and vote and we can’t look at the past.”

McConnell is the sixth Republican senator to endorse Walker’s campaign, joining Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Lindsey Graham, and John Thune (R-SD).

Walker is running to replace freshman Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who won his seat after a special election victory in January.

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