In Georgia's Senate runoff, everyone campaigns with Brian Kemp
Ahead of the Dec. 6 Georgia Senate runoff, both Republican Herschel Walker and the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, are tying themselves to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp's popularity following his nearly 8-point general election win.
Driving the news: Warnock’s campaign recently released a statewide TV ad featuring a Republican voter who supported Warnock and Kemp. "I just can’t get past Herschel Walker’s lack of character," says the voter, Lynn Whittenburg.
- A Walker-aligned PAC called 34N22, meanwhile, just launched several new statewide anti-Warnock mail pieces, including one sent directly to split-ticket voters that features Kemp urging people to vote for Walker.
- "You stopped Stacey," it reads, referencing Kemp's defeat of Democrat Stacey Abrams. "Now reject Warnock."
Why it matters: Both campaigns are targeting the estimated 200,000 voters who split their tickets in November, crossing party lines to choose Kemp and Warnock.
Why it’s happening: “Governor Kemp is one of — if not the most important — pieces of the puzzle for a Walker victory on Dec. 6," 34N22 strategist Stephen Lawson told Axios in a statement.
What we're watching: Kemp is now campaigning for Walker after keeping his distance from the troubled fellow Republican's campaign through the Nov. 8 contest.
- At their first joint event in Cobb County over the weekend, Kemp called the Senate candidate "my friend" and "a guy that represents our values."
- Neither Republican took questions from the media.
The other side: Just down the road on Saturday morning, the Democratic Party of Georgia held a press conference featuring two Kemp-Warnock split-ticket voters.
- One of them, Blake Briese, said Walker "simply just has too much baggage to be an effective leader."
- Briese said he believes Kemp was only campaigning with Walker because "he's a Republican and that's his job. It's a little disappointing, but I'm not surprised.”
Of note: Warnock is holding a rally in Walker’s hometown of Wrightsville, Georgia, on Monday night, even though Johnson County voted for Walker nearly 3-to-1 in the general election.