- According to NBC News, GOP advisers hired a law firm to research Walker before his candidacy in the Senate.
- The firm compiled a 500-page file containing issues about Walker that might be problematic.
- Walker and his wife believed that his goodwill among Georgians would dampen negative attacks against him.
Before Herschel Walker even announced his candidacy for the Senate in August 2021, there were already important questions about the viability of a potential campaign.
According to NBC News, as Walker was considering his entry to the race, he spoke with prominent GOP advisors Austin Chambers, Paul Bennecke, and Nick Ayers, who hired a law firm to investigate the prospective candidate’s background.
Such an effort is typical for most campaigns; helps gauge the type of opposition research that can be gathered in a political campaign.
But in just two weeks, the company compiled a 500-page file detailing questionable public statements and allegations of misconduct about Walker, as well as potential problems with its business, according to four sources who spoke to NBC News.
“We found 500 pages about you in two weeks, and only God knows what else was there,” Chambers told Walker, according to a source who overheard the two men’s conversation at a GOP fundraiser’s home in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.
The three advisers didn’t stay for Walker’s campaign, but the former University of Georgia football star threw his hat in the ring despite information that has been uncovered, some of which is already public.
Shortly before Walker announced his campaign, the Associated Press published a cursing article detailing the accusations of his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, who spoke of his “physically abusive and threatening behavior” in divorce proceedings.
But the courage of Walker and his current wife, Julie Blanchard Walker, did not stop this report.
Prior to the campaign announcement, the couple felt that Walker’s long-time status as a football icon in Peach State and his ability to connect with people would cancel out any bad press or political offensive advertisements that would certainly be launched by the Democratic Party. People who told NBC News they spoke to the couple ahead of the August 2021 launch date.
When Walker officially became the nominee, he quickly combined support among the turbocharged Republican primary vote with support from former President Donald Trump.
This year, however, his campaign has been rocked by several scandals.
The two women claimed that Walker, who ran on an anti-abortion platform, paid for the abortion costs. The Republican denied the allegations, but was not considered a credible candidate by the majority of voters in the opinion poll conducted the week before the runoff.
When it was revealed that Walker had other children he hadn’t made public, his campaign had to respond to the developments as well, and this distracted him from the message as he tried to rally GOP voters.
Last month, questions swirled around the campaign for a farm tax exemption Walker had requested in Texas despite running for a Senate seat in 2021 and in Georgia this year, according to a CNN KFile report.
In the November general election, Warnock outperformed Walker by 49.4% to 48.5% statewide, but the results triggered a runoff as no candidate reached the 50% threshold necessary to fully win the election.
Last week, Warnock beat Walker 51.4% to 48.6% in the second round.
The result made Walker the only Republican candidate statewide to lose his race in Georgia this year.