COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — One month from today, the Georgia Senate candidates will meet on a debate stage in Savannah.
The Oct. 14th debate will be sponsored by Nexstar Media Inc. – WRBL’s parent company. It will be televised statewide, including right here on News 3.
The focus has shifted from wondering if Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker would debate to preparing for the high-stakes showdown.
Since the May primary, the topic of debates has been a cat-and-mouse game between Warnock and Walker.
Warnock agreed to three debates – one in Atlanta, one in Savannah, and one in Macon. Walker would not commit to any of those.
After weeks of back and forth, Walker committed to the Nexstar debate in Savannah. This week, Warnock agreed to meet Walker in the Nexstar debate.
“Someone had to put an end to Herschel Walker’s games, and today Reverend Warnock showed again why he is the best person for the job, agreeing to Walker’s preferred debate so Georgians would have at least one opportunity to see the clear choice they have in this election,” Quentin Fulks, Warnock for Georgia campaign manager.
Here’s the response from the Walker side.
“I’m glad to see that Raphael Warnock has agreed to face the voters, he has a lot of explaining to do,” Walker said. “He’s gotten rich in office while the people of Georgia have suffered. He’s voted with Joe Biden over 96 percent of the time, giving us high gas prices, empty shelves, and out-of-control inflation. I’m looking forward to October 14th so the voters can see the contrast between us.”
The clash is creating quite the stir in the Georgia political community. Greg Bluestein is an AJC political reporter who has been following the race closely.
“It’s a must-attend event for reporters,” Bluestein said. “I will definitely plan to be in Savannah, and I expect not just the Georgia press corps but the national press corps to be there in great force because of not just the debate itself but because of the aura around it. It’s going to be before a live audience. There’s going to be all other sorts of campaign issues tied to it. This was a major coup for Nexstar getting the only debate. I think this will be a national, national issue.”
Warnock is still trying to convince Walker to debate in either Macon or Atlanta. But it does appear that will happen.
Nexstar’s three Georgia stations, WRBL in Columbus, WSAV in Savannah, and WJBF in Augusta will televise the 7 p.m. debate. Fox 5 in Atlanta and other media partners will also televise it.