Walker Opts Out of Second Debate With Incumbent Sen. Warnock Georgia Republican Senatorial candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event in Carrollton, Georgia, on Oct. 11. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Monday, 17 October 2022 09:25 AM EDT
Herschel Walker opted out of a second debate against Georgia's incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock.
The Atlanta Press Club debate series was held Sunday — two days after its first, which the former football star attended. Two more are planned, for Monday and Tuesday.
According to the debate series protocol, all candidates are invited to participate, with Warnock and Libertarian Chase Oliver accepting on Sunday — but also representing absent candidates via an empty podium.
"It's important to point out that my opponent Herschel Walker is not here—and I think half of being a senator is showing up," Warnock said at the debate, the Washington Examiner reported.
The former NFL player — who's been backed in his election bid by former President Donald Trump — violated debate rules in his sole appearance, flashing what looked like an honorary deputy badge, the news outlet reported — with the moderator stepping in to criticize Walker for bringing a prop to the event.
The former NFL player claimed he had brought it to prove that he had worked in law enforcement, though the claim has not been independently confirmed.
At the first debate on Friday, Walker and Warnock sparred over a range of issues from abortion and policing to personal integrity. Their race could help determine control of the Senate.