Walker was “shocked” he didn’t 100% of the vote in his home county last month, per The Daily Beast.
The Republican carried Johnson County 74%-26% over Warnock, but was still taken aback by the result.
“I’m gonna call the sheriff and have him find out who didn’t vote for me,” Walker reportedly said.
In the November general election, statewide Republican candidates — from Gov. Brian Kemp to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — were overwhelmingly victorious at the ballot box in Georgia.
While Democrats had made significant gains in the state in recent years, mainstream conservatives performed strongly at the statewide level in the general election.
But then-Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker — the University of Georgia football legend who largely ran his campaign independent of Kemp and the other statewide GOP candidates — was the exception, underperforming across the state. Walker captured 48.5% of the vote compared to incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s 49.4%, which triggered a runoff as neither candidate received at least 50% of the vote for an outright win.
And Walker was especially invested in the results from Johnson County, whose county seat is Wrightsville, the small city where he grew up and was a star athlete on the high school football team.
Last month, Walker easily defeated Warnock in GOP-heavy Johnson County 74%-26%, but the Republican was still taken aback by the result, according to The Daily Beast.
Walker felt as though he should have received 100% of the countywide vote and was “absolutely shocked” by the result, according to a staffer who spoke with the news outlet. The then-candidate was also incensed that Kemp slightly outperformed him in the gubernatorial contest against Democrat Stacey Abrams, per the report.
“I’m gonna call the sheriff and have him find out who didn’t vote for me,” Walker said, according to an aide who spoke with The Daily Beast.
While Walker received 2,484 votes to Warnock’s 869 votes in Johnson County in November, Kemp earned 2,504 votes compared to Abrams’ 867 votes.
Walker’s staffers soon realized at the time that the race would be heading to a December 6 runoff once the remaining results came in, also knowing that they would have to run on a ballot without Kemp at the top of the ticket.
During the general election campaign, Walker and Kemp never appeared together at an official event, but shortly after the runoff kicked off, they made their first joint campaign appearance in Smyrna, Ga. — a city in the pivotal Atlanta suburb of Cobb County.
Kemp would go on lending his GOP operation to Walker for the runoff, but in the end, the former football star was unable to capitalize off the popular Republican governor’s support.
On Tuesday, Warnock defeated Walker in the runoff 51.4%-48.6%, earning a full six-year term in the Senate and denying Republicans a much-desired win. And Warnock gained ground in Johnson County in the runoff compared to the November election, winning 967 votes (29%) to Walker’s 2,419 votes (71%).
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