US Midterms: NFL Star Running for Senate in Georgia Mired in Abortion Scandal

Herschel Walker, the 60-year old Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the hotly contested state of Georgia, recently became embroiled in scandal after news that he allegedly paid for a woman he dated to get an abortion over a decade ago. The scandal could mean the difference between victory and defeat in the upcoming Nov. 8 midterm elections. Walker, a former National Football League star, has the full support of former President Donald Trump. A loss for Walker in this election would also be a loss for Trump, who is trying to enhance his power within the party through midterm election endorsements.

The Daily Beast first reported the news at the beginning of October, followed by The New York Times days later. According to the news outlets, Walker paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. About two years later, the same woman became pregnant again by Walker, and he asked her again to have an abortion. She refused this time and chose to have the child.

Although Walker campaigns on an anti-abortion platform that advocates family values, he admitted that he has three children out of wedlock. However, in response to the Daily Beast and New York Times reports, he denied the claims and said they were entirely false.

Walker’s oldest son, whom he had with his ex-wife, criticized his father online, saying that “everything has been a lie.” His ex-wife, who divorced him in 2002, said that Walker once “held [a] gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out.” Walker claims to have no memory of this violent behavior, blaming a dissociative identity disorder.

The state of Georgia is one of the most fiercely contested states in the upcoming midterm elections, which are focused on whether the Democrats can maintain their current majority in the Senate. Approval ratings for Walker and his Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, 53, have stayed relatively even. If a series of scandals slows Walker’s momentum in the election, it could damage both the Republican Party and Trump’s reputation, given that Trump endorsed Walker when he announced his intention to run for the Senate.

The governor’s seat is also up for election in Georgia, where incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, is facing challenger Stacey Abrams, a young, Black Democratic hopeful. Abrams lost the Georgia gubernatorial election to Kemp in 2018, but rather than acknowledging her defeat, asserted through associated groups that there had been election fraud. It has been widely speculated that Abrams’s election fraud accusations foreshadowed Trump’s accusations of fraud in the state during the 2020 presidential election.

The Democrats, who have repeatedly denied Trump’s allegations of election fraud, seem desperate to use the Walker scandal to drown out criticism against them. If the belief grows that election fraud is impacting elections, it is the Democrats’ image that would inevitably be damaged.

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