The Jolt: Walker, Texas Fundraiser

News and analysis from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign goes to great lengths to document their candidate’s travels around Georgia. But he’ll be back in Texas Wednesday night as the headliner for a fundraiser for the Harris County GOP.

Along with Walker, former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a featured speaker at the event. Sanders is running for governor of Arkansas.

Walker lived in Texas for decades before announcing his Georgia Senate campaign last fall. On Friday, he picked up a high profile Texas endorsement from GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cindy Siegel, the chairwoman of the Houston-based Harris County party, said that the primary purpose of Wednesday’s event is to make sure, “We can continue to lead the nation in fighting for election integrity.”

Siegal led a lawsuit earlier this month against the Harris County elections administrator after long lines during the primary were followed by a vote discrepancy in the county. The administrator later resigned.

Walker has made multiple trips back to the Lone Star state since he declared his run for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat, including conducting remote interviews from his Texas home.

Last month Walker also gave a private paid speech at the University of North Texas in Denton, Tex..

In October, he canceled a fundraiser for his Georgia campaign after the AJC reported the event host, Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais, had a swastika fashioned out of hypodermic needles as her Twitter profile photo.

Although the event did not happen, Walker later accepted the maximum contribution of $11,600 from Viviano-Langlais for his Senate campaign.



  • 10:00 a.m.: The House gavels in;
  • 10:00 a.m.: The Senate convenes;
  • 1:00 p.m.: Committee work begins.


Looking at the General Assembly’s daily calendar, you won’t see the usual Rules Committee hearings today.

That’s because the House and Senate have reached the familiar point in this year’s legislative session where each chamber complains about how much (or little) their colleagues across the hall are doing.

As our colleague Maya Prabhu explains, it’s an annual dance.

Senators lament how few Senate bills have made it to the House floor for approval. Representatives complain about their legislation being tinkered with in the Senate.

Now the Rules chairmen, the two powerful lawmakers who decide which bills will advance for a vote in either chamber, have traded barbs as we roll into day 32 of the 40-day session.

On Thursday, Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis lamented that the House had only debated one Senate bill on the floor this year.

“We’re feeling slighted,” he said, before choosing not to select any bills for Friday’s floor session.

On Friday morning, House Rules Chairman Richard Smith called senators “private contractors” who are only out for themselves.

Smith told committee members not to expect another Rules hearing until Wednesday.

Mullis shot back from the Senate floor on Friday, saying he would follow suit and not hold a Rules Committee meeting for a while.

Like Mullis said: “It’s that time of year.”


POSTED: Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan isn’t running for anything in 2022, but he’s up with a new ad this week ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Commerce Saturday.

Duncan’s ad starts with a gloomy assessment of the United States under President Joe Biden and makes the case that focusing on “conspiracy theories and past losses” isn’t going to get the job done for Republicans in the next election. Make a note that the two people whose photos are included in the ad are Donald Trump and former senator David Perdue.

The answer for Republicans, according to the ad is “GOP 2.0,” the slogan and outside group that Duncan launched after battling Trump in 2020 announcing in 2021 that he wouldn’t run for LG again.

But are Duncan’s days in politics over? It sure doesn’t look like it.


The Georgia Senate approved legislation last week that would impose harsher penalties on people who commit crimes during protests. A coalition of left-leaning groups is trying to make sure the House doesn’t follow suit.

The Fair Fight Action organization founded by Stacey Abrams stepped up its opposition to Senate Bill 171, which passed 31-21 last week on a party line vote.

And James Woodall of the Southern Center for Human Rights took a swipe at state Sen. Randy Robertson, the Republican sponsor of the measure.

“Under the guise of concern for public safety, this legislative proposal severely endangers the Constitutional right to due process and free speech while furthering the ongoing attack against our very democracy, said Woodall.

Robertson said the bill was inspired by both racial justice protests in Atlanta in 2020, some of which led to violence and looting, along with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes after being sprayed by rioters with bear spray during the attack and died the next day.


Progressive voting rights group End Citizens United/Let America Vote is running a new ad in opposition to the latest Georgia elections bill, House Bill 1464.

The 15 second-spot says Gov. Brian Kemp went back on his promise not to pass additional election laws after last year’s SB 202. The state House has signed off on HB 1464 bill, but it still needs approval from the state Senate before it lands on Kemp’s desk for his signature.

The Republican-backed legislation would allow GBI investigators to initiate allegations of election fraud, restrict outside funding for election preparations and make paper ballots available for the public to review. Democrats say the bill would further tie the hands of local election officials, but Republicans insist the bill is still needed after the 2020 elections.


The main event in Washington this week will be the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

She will give an opening statement on Monday, and each member of the committee will also have time to deliver remarks on her nomination, including U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, who serves on the committee.

Ossoff and the other Judiciary Committee members will question Brown on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the fourth day, witnesses from outside groups like the American Bar Association will weigh in.

Also sometime this week, the Senate is expected to decide whether to confirm two judicial nominees for seats on the Atlanta-based federal bench: Sarah Geraghty and Victoria Calvert.


Dave Wasserman, the House editor for the Cook Political Report, has moved the once-GOP stronghold of the 7th Congressional District to “Solid Democrat” following last year’s GOP-led redistricting.

Wasserman also assessed the lay of the land in the Democratic primary, which pits the 7th’s current U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux against U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath.

McBath announced she’d challenge Bourdeaux rather than run in the 6th District after it was redrawn to heavily favor a Republican.

More from Wasserman:

Bourdeaux allies call McBath a carpetbagger, but it's unclear most voters in this transient, fast-growing district will care. After all, Bourdeaux doesn't even have a full-term under her belt and McBath's campaign has been a stronger presence on the Atlanta airwaves the past few years. Party strategists also believe between 40 and 50 percent of the new 7th CD Democratic primary electorate will be Black, which is likely to work in McBath's favor…

A January poll by Data for Progress for the pro-McBath Protect Our Future PAC showed McBath leading Bourdeaux 40 percent to 31 percent, with a third candidate, state Rep. Donna McLeod taking six percent. McLeod, a Black Gwinnett County state legislator, chides McBath for carpetbagging and could theoretically force a June 21 runoff if neither McBath nor Bourdeaux hit 50 percent. For now, McBath is more likely to clear that bar.

- Cook Political Report


The U.S. House on Friday passed legislation that would prevent discrimination based on a person’s hair style, if the style is related to race or national origin.

Fourteen Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the bill, which faces an uncertain future in the Senate although it does have the White House’s backing. Georgia’s delegation split along party lines except for U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, who did not vote.

The Georgia General Assembly considered similar legislation from state Sen. Tonya Anderson in 2020. Several counties in Georgia, including Clayton and Gwinnett, have recently passed local ordinances to ban discrimination based on ethnic hair styles.


U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock was back in the pulpit Sunday for Ebenezer Baptist Church’s 136th anniversary. Sunday also marked the congregation’s first in-person Sunday service since the COVID pandemic began.

State Rep. Bee Nguyen, a Democratic candidate for secretary of state, was in the audience and got a shout out from Warnock during the service. Public officials are frequent attendees at the church.


As always, Jolt readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to, and

Sign Up to receive the Morning Jolt & AJC Politics newsletters in your inbox.