'Evict Warnock': Herschel Walker Launches Runoff Campaign as Senate Control Hangs in the Balance

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Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker / Getty Images
November 10, 2022

Herschel Walker is asking Georgia voters to "evict" Sen. Raphael Warnock (D.) in the upcoming runoff election, a nod to the senator's ties to a low-income apartment building that evicted poor residents.

Walker's "Evict Warnock Bus Tour" kicks off Thursday evening in Cherokee County, with a rally featuring Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas). The Washington Free Beacon first reported that Warnock's church owns a low-income apartment building in Atlanta that moved to evict over a dozen residents since the start of the pandemic for as little as $28.55 in past-due rent. The Free Beacon's report became a sticking point for Warnock, who dodged questions about the evictions during his lone debate with Walker in October. The Democratic mayor of South Fulton, Ga., said Warnock's refusal to address the report "made me a little queasy."

A Walker campaign spokesman told the Free Beacon the slogan will "remind the people of Georgia that they cannot trust Raphael Warnock to make their lives better."

"Warnock has spent two years raising taxes, recklessly spending our money, and blindly supporting Joe Biden's agenda," said Will Kiley. "Georgians are worse off now than two years ago."

Georgia's runoff election will take place on Dec. 6, as neither Walker nor Warnock secured more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day. If Republicans notch a victory in Arizona or Nevada, which are still counting votes, the winner of the runoff could determine which party takes control of the Senate. Warnock's victory over former senator Kelly Loeffler (R.) in a 2020 runoff gave Democrats control of the upper chamber.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church owns 99 percent of the Columbia Tower at MLK Village apartment building through a network of shell organizations connected to a charity that identifies Warnock as its principal officer. The Georgia secretary of state in October launched an investigation into the charity for failing to register with state authorities. That investigation remains ongoing as of Thursday afternoon.

The church tapped Columbia Residential, one of the nation's leading eviction filers during the pandemic, to manage the property on its behalf. Columbia Tower has been plagued with maintenance and safety issues, according to interviews with residents and hundreds of pages of Atlanta Police Department, Fire Department, and court records.

The complex also hired a convicted murderer as a maintenance man. This person went on to kill a tenant in 2020, the Free Beacon reported. At least two dead bodies have been discovered in the building since the start of the pandemic, records show. Residents who spoke with the Free Beacon in October complained of the overwhelming stench of garbage in the building.