‘I am happy to endorse Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate in Georgia,’ McConnell said in a statement Wednesday. ‘Herschel is the only one who can united the party, defeat Senator Warnock, and help us take back the Senate. I look forward to working with Herschel in Washington to get the job done.’
McConnell’s stamp of approval comes after a number of establishment Republicans backed Walker, proof that the party believes past alleged incidents with women won’t impact his electability.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed GOP Georgia Senate hopeful Herschel Walker (pictured) on Wednesday, who former President Donald Trump had first encouraged to run for the seat
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) followed the lead of former President Donald Trump (right) by endorsing Herschel Walker, proving that the party doesn’t believe Walker’s past issues with women will harm his electability
Sen. John Thune, the party’s No. 2 senator, endorsed Walker on Monday. While other mainstays including Sens. Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham are supporting the former University of Georgia football player.
If Walker wins the Republican primary – which is now likely – he’ll be on the ballot against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, the state’s first black senator.
Warnock won his seat in a run-off election on January 5, flipping the Senate to Democratic control weeks after now President Joe Biden won the White House race.
Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia also flipped a seat that day.
Trump was largely blamed for the Republican losses in Georgia.
He had refused to concede his own race and sowed confusion about the legitimacy of the voting process, decreasing turnout among GOP voters.
Still, Trump has decided to play kingmaker in the state.
After encouraging Walker to run publicly, Trump officially endorsed the ex-football player in early September.
About 30 minutes later, however, CNN was out with a new story on a third woman accusing the ex-football star with stalking her, after his ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend said he had threatened them in the past.
CNN obtained a police report from 2002 that said a Texas woman had told police that Walker threatened and stalked her.
The woman, a friend of Walker’s ex-wife, told law enforcement Walker made ‘threats to her’ and had ‘her house watched.’
The woman confirmed the account to CNN for Thursday’s story, she refused to be identified and also told the network she had never been in a relationship with Walker.
The woman had made a ‘prowler call’ to police, believing someone was ‘sneaking around outside her house,’ but was reluctant to identify the individual. She eventually told an officer that it was Walker, who she had had ‘a confrontation’ with the year before.
The officer, Jason Mullins, wrote that the woman told him Walker ‘began calling her, making threats to her and having her house watched’ after the initial dust-up.
More recently the woman said she ran into Walker at a local resort and he ‘jumped into’ his vehicle and followed her ‘all the way to her house,’ according to the 2002 report.
‘She is very frighten[ed] of the individual and is afraid that he [is] going to begin bothering her again,’ Mullins wrote. ‘She advised that she does not want him contacted under any circumstances as she feels this will only make the problem worse.’
An investigation didn’t follow because the woman had told police not to contact Walker.
Walker’s ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend told authorities the University of Georgia football star had threatened to kill them over the course of their relationships with him.
A campaign spokeswoman, when asked about the 2002 incident, cited Walker’s past issues with his mental health, which he’s widely publicized.
Former President Donald Trump called Walker a ‘friend, a Patriot, and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States Senator,’ when he endorsed the ex-football player in early September
‘It is sad that many in politics and the media who praised Herschel for his transparency over a decade ago are now making false statements, stereotyping, attacking, and attempting to sensationalize his past just because he is a Republican Senate candidate,’ spokesperson Mallory Blount told CNN last month.
Walker has said he was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and struggled with his mental health during his marriage to Cindy Grossman.
In a 2008 interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, Grossman said Walker held a razor to her throat and ‘he held [a] gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out.’
Walker said in 2008 that he didn’t remember being violent toward his wife, but didn’t deny his actions, citing blackouts as one of the symptoms of his personality disorder.
Trump has a record of defending men who have been accused of abusing women – including Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore, former White House aide Rob Porter and Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes.