ATLANTA — Geoff Duncan, the outgoing Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, said Wednesday morning that he waited in line for an hour to cast his ballot in Georgia’s Senate runoff race, but that when he finally arrived at the voting machine, he couldn’t find any reason to vote for Republican Herschel Walker or Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
“It was the most disappointing ballot I have ever stared at in my entire life,” Duncan told CNN’s John Berman on Wednesday evening. “I got two candidates that didn’t make any sense for me to put my vote behind. So I walked out of that ballot box, showing up to vote, but not voting for either one of them.”
Duncan’s decision not to vote in allegiance with his party’s nominee in next week’s crucial Senate race underscores Walker’s challenge as his campaign navigates the Dec. 6 runoff election.
The candidacy of the former football star, who was handpicked to run for Senate in Georgia by former President Donald Trump, has been damaged by revelations of two children he previously never acknowledged, false claims about his education history and exaggerated involvement with law enforcement. Despite being a staunch anti-abortion advocate, two women have also come forward to say that Walker pressured them to get abortions. Walker denies the abortion allegations.
Then Thursday, the Daily Beast published a damning account from a woman who claims she had a violent and “unstable” five-year intimate relationship with Walker in the 2000s.
“He’s a pathological liar. Absolutely. But it’s more than that,” Dallas resident Cheryl Parsa told the online publication, admitting that the last time she had contact with Walker was in 2019. “He knows how to manipulate his disease, in order to manipulate people, while at times being simultaneously completely out of control.”
This latest allegation is just the most recent in a long line of repeated challenges that have seemingly stifled Walker’s campaign promise for many Republicans. After both Walker and Warnock failed to surpass the 50% threshold needed to win outright in the midterm general election earlier this month, the two rivals were thrust into another four weeks of campaigning. But while Warnock’s campaign has been zig-zagging the state nonstop in the last month, Walker has chosen more infrequent public events for more than a month, surprising some of his Republican allies.
“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Herschel Walker might be the most flawed Republican nominee in the nation this year,” Rick Dent, a media consultant who has worked for Walker and Warnock, told the New York Times.
Neither Walker nor Warnock can afford to lose many votes; in their initial face-off on Nov. 8, Walker led by under 1%. (The runoff was triggered because nobody secured the 50% threshold needed to avoid a second election in Georgia.)
Walker significantly underperformed the other Republicans on the ballot, and he will need to secure the votes of some former skeptics — perhaps voters like Duncan — in order to prevail.
“Like many conservatives across Georgia, I’ve been waiting for Herschel Walker to give me a reason to support him. Regrettably, he hasn’t, and that’s why I was forced to leave my ballot blank,” Duncan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, adding that “Georgia deserves better” than having to choose between Walker or Warnock.
Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Jack Forbes/Yahoo News; Photos: John Bazemore/AP Photo, Jessica McGowan/Getty Images, Jessica McGowan/Getty Images