SAVANNAH, Ga. - The first and possibly only formal debate between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and challenger Herschel Walker (R) will be live on FOX 5 and online at 7 p.m. tonight.
Interest in the race transcends state lines, with control of the U.S. Senate potentially at stake in the narrow Georgia race. Election day looms in less than one month.
"I'm glad we're finally having a debate," Warnock said at an event. "It took some encouragement and nudging, but I think debates are important in democracy."
"Come Friday, you better watch it," Walker said. "There's going to be a debate. There's going to be a debate and I told him to quit running from me. Quit running, 'cause I will catch you."
Good Day Atlanta's Buck Lanford and WSAV news anchor Tina Tyus-Shaw will moderate and will pose questions to the candidates about issues that are important to Georgia voters during the debate hosted by Nexstar Media Group.
The debate will take place at J.W. Marriott Savannah in Savannah’s Plant Riverside District.
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will square off for the first and only time tonight at 7 p.m.. Watch on fox5atlanta.com.
How to watch: Walker-Warnock debate
- Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
- Debate broadcasted on FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA-TV
- Streaming on fox5atlanta.com and FOX 5 Atlanta app
- Follow along on social media through the hashtag #GASenDebate
Background on Walker, Warnock
The Warnock-Walker matchup features men known for their roles in two Southern institutions: church and football.
Walker is among Georgia’s most well-known sports figures. He won a championship and the Heisman Trophy while at the University of Georgia in the 1980s. He’s backed by former president Donald Trump.
Warnock is the senior pastor at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Warnock occasionally invokes the civil rights icon and said they share a "moral vision."
Where Herschel Walker, Raphael Warnock stand on issues
Wages & Economy
Walker has criticized Warnock for making the United States dependent on foreign energy. He pointed his finger at the Biden administration and Warnock for rapid inflation and surging gas prices.
Walker says his background in the business sector makes him a better candidate for U.S. Senate than Warnock.
"I know about creating jobs, I know about the economy, I know about those things," Walker said.
Warnock previously introduced legislation to incentivize companies to lower gas by raising taxes on oil and gas companies to punish them for high prices.
Warnock supported the Inflation Reduction Act, which became law this year. A government report showed it’s difficult to bring down prices for goods and services to pre-pandemic levels.
Walker has been open about his struggles with mental health and a 2002 incident when police confiscated a gun during a violent dispute with his wife. Walker said he wants to be an "advocate" for mental health in Washington. He said he’s had discussions about mental health issues at law enforcement agencies and hospitals, and their staff told him they aren’t equipped to handle some problems.
Warnock took on health insurance providers to reduce out-of-pocket costs of insulin for seniors. The bill that Biden signed into law capped insulin costs at $35 a month for patients on Medicare. Warnock has also weighed in on Georgia’s resistance to closing the Medicaid coverage gap, which he and other Georgia politicians said forces hospitals to front the cost for uninsured patients.
Walker said he’s "for life" and supports a ban on abortions without exceptions he wants to put money into adoption programs and support for single parents.
In weeks leading up to election day, Walker has been forced to respond to reports that he paid for and encouraged an abortion in 2009 for a woman with whom he later fathered a child. He’s denied the validity of the report.
"This abortion thing is false," Walker said at a campaign event this month. "It’s a lie."
Warnock said a recent Supreme Court decision to overturn the prescient set by Roe v. Wade eliminated "protection for women to make their own health care decisions." Warnock was part of a group of senators to push for a bill to make it illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for abortion services. The bill hasn’t moved forward for a vote in either chamber.
Crime, public safety
Warnock introduced the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was signed into law in 2021, in response to deadly shootings at multiple spas in metro Atlanta. Warnock has pushed for the "Invest to Protect Act" that would fund small law enforcement agencies. That bill hasn’t been voted on in the Senate.
Walker has accused Black Lives Matter of wanting to destroy the country and he called "Black-on-Black crime" far worse than violence by police. Walker's ex-wife accused him of violent acts while they were married.
Walker said he believes money spent regulating emissions is better spent on securing the border and pouring into education. Walker said relying on purchasing fuel from countries that don’t have environmental regulations of their own doesn’t make sense.
"We’re one of the most environmentally-friendly drillers of anyone in the world," Walker said.
Walker said money spent on lowering emissions is wasted if other nations aren’t putting in the effort to decrease their environmental footprint.
"We’ve got some of the cleanest air in the world right here in the United States of America," Walker said.
He once criticized the Green New Deal as a futile gesture, saying, "When China gets our good air, their bad air got to move."
In a letter to President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in September, Warnock advocated for the Inflation Reduction Act, which he said would help tackle the climate crisis by creating clean-energy jobs.