Warnock collects more than $26M in latest fundraising period

Credit: Curtis Compton / AJC

Credit: Curtis Compton / AJC

Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock continued a staggering fundraising pace by collecting an additional $26.3 million in the latest three-month reporting period, and his campaign said Monday that it will end the quarter with roughly $13.7 million in the bank for his reelection bid.

Warnock’s campaign said Monday that it tapped more than 340,000 donors from July to September, a figure that reflects the national attention focused on a race against Republican Herschel Walker that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Walker has yet to report his latest financial details. Though the former football star hasn’t kept pace with Warnock, he has emerged as a formidable fundraiser. In the last three-month period, the Republican collected nearly $6.2 million and ended with about $7 million in the bank.

As November nears, Warnock is also spending his cash at a more aggressive pace. He ended the quarter with about $8.5 million less in the bank than he did at the end of the previous quarter, with much of his spending devoted to a barrage of campaign ads.

In all, Warnock has raised roughly $90 million since he defeated Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in last year’s Senate runoff, part of a tandem of Democratic victories that flipped control of the chamber.

“There is undeniable momentum in Georgia to reelect Rev. Warnock to the U.S. Senate, and tens of thousands of grassroots donors are helping to propel our campaign across the finish line in November,” said Quentin Fulks, Warnock’s campaign manager.

Fulks added that the Democrat’s supporters “see the clear choice they have between Rev. Warnock and Herschel Walker, who’s pattern of lies and disturbing behavior prove he is not ready to represent Georgia.”

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

The latest fundraising figure highlights an already imposing Democratic fundraising edge in the state’s premier contests that has forced Georgia Republicans who once dominated the race for resources to confront a new political landscape.

In the race for governor, Stacey Abrams has far outpaced Republican Gov. Brian Kemp through June. The two rivals have yet to report their latest fundraising figures.

Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, became one of the party’s leading fundraisers during the 2020 election campaign. After his victory over Loeffler, he effectively never stopped running — or raising campaign cash.

Republicans quickly framed Warnock as one of the nation’s most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents in their quest to regain control of an evenly divided chamber, and they have relentlessly tried to tie him to President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings.

But Warnock is neck-and-neck with Walker in most polls despite the challenging political climate for Democrats, who face blame from their rivals over the nation’s high inflation and shaky economy.

Warnock has appealed to swing voters and wavering Republicans by pummeling Walker over a history of falsehoods and exaggerations, along with more recent blunders on the campaign trail, to question his readiness for office.

More recently, the Democrat and his allies have also highlighted allegations from Walker’s ex-wife and other women about his violent and erratic behavior. Walker has attributed the abusive relationship to his struggles with mental health, but he has dodged questions on the campaign trail about his history.