- Geoff Duncan was sharply critical of Herschel Walker’s Senate candidacy in a CBS News interview.
- “I think Herschel Walker will probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history,” he said.
- Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock are facing off in a December 6 runoff election.
Outgoing Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said in a recent interview that Trump-backed Senate candidate Herschel Walker will likely become “one of the worst candidates in our party’s history.”
Duncan, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump’s outsized influence over the GOP, told CBS News that Walker wasn’t the right choice for Georgia conservatives.
“I’m a conservative. I’m a conservative because I feel like it’s the best way to govern. I’ve been a Republican a lot longer than a lot of folks. I think I’ve got kids probably that could articulate the conservative platform better than some of the candidates that Donald Trump and his group supported all across the country,” he told the news outlet.
“This wasn’t the right brand for Republicanism,” he continued to say, “and I think Herschel Walker will probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history.
While Republicans have largely lined up behind Walker, the former University of Georgia football standout struggled last month compared to the other statewide Republican candidates, who all won their respective races.
Last month, Walker earned 48.5% of the vote compared to Warnock’s 49.4% in the general election, which forced a December 6 runoff as no candidate hit the requisite 50% of the vote needed for an outright victory.
Led by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp’s reelection victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams, Georgia Republicans had an overwhelmingly successful election cycle, despite the party faltering on the national level — regaining a House majority, albeit narrow, while losing key races that denied them a Senate majority.
Republicans during the general election pushed the narrative that Walker’s win would deny Democrats two more years of their majority in the upper chamber. However, with Democrats set to control the upper chamber irrespective of the results of the Georgia runoff, the GOP argument that a 50-50 Senate — still controlled by Democrats — would give them an even-split of committee assignments lacks the saliency of gaining full control of the chamber.
Warnock’s victory would give Democrats a 51-49 majority, allowing them to forgo power-sharing agreements currently in place and affording them more seats on committees, therefore making it easier to approve President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees and any Cabinet officials.
But despite the continued GOP effort to produce a Walker victory in the December 6 runoff, Duncan expressed to CNN earlier this week that he just couldn’t cast a ballot for the Republican nominee.
“I was one of those folks who got in line and spent about an hour waiting, and it was the most disappointing ballot I’ve ever stared at in my entire life since I started voting,” he told the network. “I had two candidates that I just couldn’t find anything that made sense 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.”
Walker has been dogged by allegations that he paid for women to have abortions in the past, which he has vehemently denied.
Last month, the Republican nominee spoke about werewolves and vampires during a campaign rally, which has mystified some voters.
Duncan, who did not run for reelection and will be succeeded by Republican Lt. Gov.-elect Burt Jones in January, said earlier this year that he would focus on the GOP 2.0 independent movement to broaden the Republican coalition after the end of his term.
In his 2021 book, “GOP 2.0,” Duncan wrote of the need for a more independent and inclusive party, while also pointing out the consequences of conservative misgivings about election administration, which he said included Republicans losing the two GOP Senate seats formerly held by David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in last year’s January runoffs.
While in office, Duncan stood behind Kemp’s refusal to entertain Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, while also praising GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for defending the integrity of the vote in that year’s elections.