Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker has sprinted out of the blocks when it comes to fundraising for his Senate campaign to try and unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia in the 2022 midterm elections.
The former professional and college football star running back, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped propel the University of Georgia to a national championship, announced Monday that his campaign pulled in $3.7 million — or about $100,000 per day — from his late August launch through the close of September, which marked the end of the third quarter of fundraising.
Walker, a major supporter and surrogate for then-President Trump in last year’s election, said in a statement obtained by Fox News that his team is "overwhelmed by the support" from about 50,000 Americans who contributed.
"National Democrats have already said they plan to spend $100 million on this race, and these strong numbers show that we are ready to go head to head with anybody," he said.
The three other Republican running for the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia have yet to report their July-September fundraising figures.
Walker is considered the clear front runner in the GOP primary, thanks to his high name recognition in the Peach State and the endorsement he received from Trump - who for months encouraged Walker to run and who remains very popular and influential among Republican voters in Georgia and across the country. And recent polling suggests Walker holding a wide lead over his Republican rivals.
Walker has made few campaign appearances since jumping into the race, and his Republican critics continue to note that Walker, as a first-time candidate, is untested under fire on the campaign trail and has not made it clear where he stands on many key issues. And they spotlight that Walker comes with plenty of potential political baggage that could give his opponents ammunition - from his well-documented struggles with a mental illness known as dissociative identity disorder, and accusations by his ex-wife of being "physically abusive."
As the GOP aims to win back the Senate majority they lost in January when the Democrats narrowly swept Georgia’s twin Senate runoff elections, they’re playing plenty of defense, defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including five open seats – with two of them in the crucial battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
But they also see opportunities to flip blue seats red in four states, including Georgia. And they view Warnock as one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection in 2022.
Warnock defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, by a razor-thin margin on Jan. 5, to serve the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned in 2019 due to health reasons. But defeating Warnock next year won’t be easy, as Georgia’s first Black senator has set fundraising records since taking office.
Warnock has yet to file his third quarter fundraising figures, but he hauled in an eye-popping $7.2 million during the April-June second quarter of fundraising and reported more than $10.5 million in his campaign coffers at the beginning of July.