ALPHARETTA – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker landed an endorsement from a national law-enforcement organization Friday, even as Democrats continued to hammer away at false claims that he worked in law enforcement.
The National Border Patrol Council endorsed Walker, citing his support for tougher enforcement at the nation’s southern border to choke off illegal drug smuggling.
“We have a very, very serious crisis on our southwestern border,” council President Brandon Judd said during a news conference outside Alpharetta City Hall. “The drug epidemic … is killing too many of our children.”
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented a district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs for 20 years, characterized Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock as soft on crime.
“Senator Warnock favors policies that put criminals back on the streets,” Gingrich said.
Former Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren, a friend of Walker’s for almost 30 years, said Walker served the Cobb sheriff’s department as an honorary deputy and often spent time at the jail talking to prisoners.
“He made a lot of difference with a lot of inmates at that facility,” Warren said. “Herschel Walker is probably one of the best ambassadors for law enforcement in this country. … We need him in the Senate.”
“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 when his turn came at the podium.
Walker said Warren’s testimony should answer Democrats’ criticism that he has been making false claims about his law enforcement experience.
But the Democratic Party of Georgia cited instances of Walker’s false claims that go well beyond his work in Cobb County, including that he was an FBI agent and spent time at the agency’s training school in Quantico, Va.
Warnock’s campaign shot back at Republican criticism of his law enforcement record, pointing to his support for $3.9 billion in grants for state and local law enforcement this year, including $250 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program.
The senator also backs the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act, which would invest in training, equipment, mental health support, and officer recruitment and retention to support small law enforcement agencies.
Walker continued Friday to express his willingness to debate Warnock. However, the two have yet to agree on a time and place.
“I’m ready to debate,” Walker said. “[But] it has to be a fair and equitable debate.”
The former University of Georgia football great easily captured the Republican nomination to challenge Warnock, winning the Republican primary in May over five other candidates.
Warnock, who won the Senate seat in January of last year in a runoff over incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, is seeking a full six-year term in November.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.