It might not have been a very happy Father’s Day for Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker who last week was outed for having four children, instead of the one son he’d publicly acknowledged during his campaign.
This was particularly bad news for Walker who has repeatedly criticized absentee fathers over the years and has called on Black men in particular to play an active role in the children’s lives, holding up his relationship with his older son, Christian Walker, as an example.
Walker acknowledged on Wednesday that he has a 10-year-old son whom he has not previously mentioned publicly, after The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that the boy’s mother had taken Walker to court in 2014 to establish paternity and to get child support payments.
Since then, Walker has confirmed he has a total of four children, Christian, 22, the 10-year-old son, a 13-year-old son and an adult daughter.
“I’ve never denied my children” Walker told the New York Times. ““Saying I hide my children because I don’t discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That’s outrageous. I can take the heat, that’s politics — but leave my kids alone.”
Walker will face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the November general election, with the contest helping to determine which party will control the Senate, now split 50-50, next year.
Walker, who has been endorsed by top Republicans including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has faced serious allegations throughout his campaign, including that he threatened his ex-wife’s life and spread numerous falsehoods.
That includes having dramatically inflated his record as a businessman, overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed on veterans while defrauding the government and his claim that he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Georgia. He didn’t graduate, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported.
He has falsely claimed that he worked as a member of law enforcement in Georgia and with the F.B.I. in Quantico, Va., according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Mr. Walker is running against Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, in what is widely expected to be one of this year’s most competitive and expensive Senate races as Republicans seek to wrest back control of the chamber.
Mr. Warnock is currently involved in child custody litigation with his ex-wife, who has sued to adjust the terms of their agreement and have his child support payments “recalculated.” Mr. Warnock’s campaign declined to comment for this article.