GOP heavyweight Newt Gingrich joins Herschel Walker in law enforcement endorsement

UGA legend endorsed by National Border Patrol Council | Warnock counters Walker’s alleged law enforcement experience
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia GOP Senate hopeful Herschel Walker brought in one of the nation’s most influential political figures in recent memory as part of a major, law enforcement endorsement on Friday.

Newt Gingrich, the ex-Georgia congressman who engineered the GOP’s 1994 takeover of the U.S. House, joined Walker in Alpharetta during the candidate’s announcement he has been endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council.

“This is probably the most important Senate race in the country,” Gingrich, who went on to serve as the first Republican speaker of the House in 40 years, said.

Walker is seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, who is seeking his first full Senate term. Walker, Gingrich and other Republicans have consistently criticized Warnock as being soft on crime and weak on U.S. border security.

“Warnock clearly favors policies to get criminals back on the street,” Gingrich said. “He picks President Joe Biden over Georgia.”

Former Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren joined Walker, Gingrich, state Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council. Warren said he personally deputized the former UGA football legend as an honorary member of the department.

“Herschel Walker is probably one of the best ambassadors for law enforcement in this country,” Warren said.

“We have a very, very serious crisis on our southwestern border,” Judd said. “The drug epidemic is killing too many of our children.”

“We’ve got to get behind the men and women in blue, let them know we have got their backs and are going to fund them,” Walker said.

At the same time of Walker’s press event, Warnock’s campaign released a new statewide ad, denouncing Walker’s claims that he has past law enforcement experience.

Warnock’s campaign is citing the senator’s support of the Invest to Protect Act, which would invest in training, equipment, mental health support, and officer recruitment and retention to support small law enforcement agencies in Georgia and across the country.

Campaign officials also said Warnock helped secure $3.9 billion in grants for state and local law enforcement in the FY2022 spending bill, an increase of $506.4 million over the previous year. Also, they said Warnock secured $250 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services hiring program, a $9 million increase in funding over the previous fiscal year.

Warnock has consistently led Walker in several polls conducted this summer in a race that could affect Washington, D.C.’s balance of political power. A poll conducted earlier this month by AARP Georgia showed Warnock with a 50% to 47% lead over Walker, while Walker held a lead (52% to 46%) among voters 50 and older.

A Quinnipiac poll released in late June also showed Warnock with a solid lead over Walker, 54% to 44%. That same poll, however, showed Kemp and Abrams in a dead heat at 48% each.