'Bringing in Everybody': Kemp To Stump For Walker in Runoff After Keeping Distance During Campaign

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November 10, 2022

Georgia Republican governor Brian Kemp is slated to join Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on the campaign trail as soon as next week, sources tell the Washington Free Beacon—their first joint appearance of the Senate race.

A Walker campaign source confirmed the two Georgia Republicans are planning a joint event. Other sources told the Free Beacon that it is expected to take place sometime next week.

The campaign appearance would signal a united front between Kemp, whose primary election was strongly opposed by former President Donald Trump, and Walker, who Trump vigorously endorsed, in a race that could determine party control of the U.S. Senate. Walker and Democratic senator Raphael Warnock were within a point of each other in Tuesday’s general election, but neither received the 50 percent needed to avoid a head-to-head rematch next month.

Walker and Kemp didn't appear together during the general election, but the two are said to have a good relationship behind the scenes. The governor won reelection this week by 53.4 percent in a nine-point blowout against two-time loser Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, and his support could give Walker a boost heading into the runoff.

Kemp signaled on Wednesday that he is planning to play a larger role in the Senate race ahead of the December runoff. "We’ve already been in conversations with [Walker's team] already today and other folks that will be engaged there," said Kemp during an interview with WSB-TV on Wednesday. "I’m committed to helping the whole ticket."

In a Thursday night interview with Fox News, Walker said he welcomed help on the campaign trail from any Republican.

"I'm bringing in everybody," Walker said. "Everybody who wants to help bring this seat back for the American people."

A spokesman for Kemp did not respond to a request for comment. The distance between Walker and Kemp raised eyebrows during the general election. Atlanta Journal Constitution columnist Patricia Murphy noted that "the two never campaigned together. On the day before the election, Walker held his own events, while Kemp and the rest of the GOP ticket stumped together in a final pre-election push."

Rather than consolidate their election night celebrations, the two candidates held separate events just a block away from each other near Truist Park in Atlanta.

The Georgia runoff is expected to be a cutthroat battle as both parties vie for control of the upper chambers, and with the Senate races in Arizona and Nevada still yet to be determined. If Republicans win either of those pending seats, Democrats will need to win Georgia to hold on to the Senate majority.

The Walker campaign signaled this week that it plans to aggressively challenge the Democratic incumbent’s character and record. On Thursday, the Walker campaign launched an "Evict Warnock" bus tour that highlighted the Democratic senator’s church-owned apartment building’s attempts to evict low-income residents, a story that was first reported by the Free Beacon. High-profile surrogates, including Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz, will also hit the campaign trail with Walker starting Thursday.

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