By now, many of us have seen the moment when Herschel Walker whipped out an honorary deputy sheriff's badge during his debate Friday with Raphael Warnock as they both vie for a seat in the US Senate out of Georgia. Walker took heat from one of the moderators for using a "prop," then instantly became the butt of internet jokes. Now, however, the Republican is trying to flip the badge momentum in his favor. Walker's campaign tells NBC News that they've ordered 1,000 plastic replica badges that say "I'm with Herschel," which they're going to hand out at a Macon fundraising event with law enforcement officers later this week if they get here in time.
"If Sen. Warnock wants to highlight this, then bring it on," says Gail Gitcho, a campaign staffer who purchased the badges. "It just gives us a chance to talk about Herschel's support of law enforcement and law enforcement's support for him. It’s a great issue for us." Walker also released a video Tuesday evening showing him with Johnson County Sheriff Greg Rowland, who gave him the badge he highlighted at Friday's debate. "If Herschel's badge is a prop, then I guess this badge I wear every day to protect the citizens—I guess this is a prop also," Rowland says in the 30-second clip, flashing his own badge. Reaction within the law enforcement community to Walker's badge has leaned both ways, with some surrogates offering support and others shaking their head at it.
Whether it makes a difference in helping Walker raise funds remains to be seen. Last week, WRBL looked at how the two candidates were doing on the cash scene as campaigns near their final stretch, and both are raking in the dollars. Walker's campaign is reported to have brought in more than $12 million in the three months ending September—bringing his total to more than $31 million since March 2021, per the Federal Election Commission. Walker's campaign says that's the most of any GOP candidate during that cycle. Warnock, however, is said to have brought in more than $26 million during the same cycle, for a total of more than $103 million since March 2021, per FEC numbers as of Tuesday. (Read more Herschel Walker stories.)