Pro-Warnock ad features Herschel Walker’s adult son

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

A well-financed pro-Democratic group launched the first TV ad Tuesday that highlights backlash over reports that Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker paid for a girlfriend’s abortion despite his opposition to the procedure.

Senate Majority PAC, the principal Democratic organization supporting the party’s efforts to retain control of the chamber, launched the 30-second spot through its Georgia Honor group as part of an overall $36 million buy to boost U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

The ad doesn’t directly invoke the report first published by The Daily Beast that Walker paid for his girlfriend’s abortion, an allegation the Republican called a “flat-out lie.” Instead, it refers to Walker’s adult son Christian Walker’s criticism of his father after the development.

“He ‘threatened to kill us and had us move six times in six months running from his violence,’” said the narrator, quoting Christian Walker’s remarks on social media hours after the report posted.

It ends by nodding to that phrase again: “Six moves in six months, running from Herschel Walker’s violence.”

It’s not the first attack ad featuring a Walker relative. Warnock and his allies unleashed a torrent of other negative ads highlighting the former football star’s history of violent behavior, including footage of his ex-wife detailing his threats against her. He hasn’t denied those claims, citing struggles with mental health disease.

Before the spate of abortion reports, many public polls showed a neck-and-neck contest between the two rivals in a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate. It’s not yet clear how the developments could influence the race, though the fallout has shifted the media narrative for the last week.

Warnock, however, has pointedly steered clear of the issue, saying only that Walker’s behavior is part of a “disturbing” pattern. He and other Democrats are wary of giving Republicans a unifying message to shift back to the offensive.

The ad coincides with Walker’s campaign stop in west Georgia on Tuesday with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who chairs the powerful National Republican Senatorial Committee. With few other chances to flip seats, Scott and other top Senate Republicans have reaffirmed their support for Walker.