Herschel Walker dishes out campaign cash to favorite charities

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Herschel Walker’s failed U.S. Senate campaign has spent more than $1.5 million in contributions since November, much of it to boost his favorite charities and support political allies, according to recently filed finance records.

The latest donations were revealed in federal disclosures that showed the former football star, who lost to Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in a December runoff, still has more than $4.3 million left in his account.

He gave $250,000 to the Horatio Alger Association, which annually bestows awards to about a dozen recipients. The award that Walker received from the group in 2022 was a point of pride for his campaign — and he cited the ceremony he attended last year as an excuse for skipping a key debate.

This year, the Alger foundation listed Walker and his wife as “eagle flight” sponsors who gave at least $250,000 — the same amount his campaign contributed to the charity group.

Other contributions include $75,000 to a North Carolina camp for kids with medical conditions, $50,000 to the “Herschel 34 and the Johnson County Class of 1980″ and $15,000 to a Baptist ministry near Walker’s hometown of Wrightsville.

Federal campaign finance law allows candidates to donate campaign funds to charitable groups as long as the organization is operated exclusively for “religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational” purposes, said Jeremy Berry, an election law attorney. He said the law also forbids the charitable donations from being “converted in any way for the candidate’s personal use.”

The biggest contribution was a $1 million gift to the Georgia GOP shortly after the November election. The party was among Walker’s most important allies in Georgia since many elected officials initially steered clear of his campaign.

Walker also gave $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which spent more than $7 million to promote his losing bid last year.

Walker’s former aides declined to comment when asked about Walker’s use of campaign funds.

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com