Early voting starts soon in Georgia and the political atmosphere is getting tense. The contest between Republican Herschel Walker and Democrat incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock has delved into very personal territory all along, beginning in the general election and it’s carried into the run-off race. Both candidates have plenty of personal baggage and sometimes that comes up on the campaign trail. It’s politics, not bean bag.

Raphael Warnock is now accusing Walker of “crossing a line” for talking about his children during a campaign stop. Warnock’s children came up because his ex-wife, Oulèye Ndoye, is requesting a court compel Warnock to face questioning about their continuing child custody legal battle. She claims that Warnock does not handle his time with the children as agreed upon in their parenting schedule. The blame is put on Warnock’s re-election campaign schedule. And she claims he isn’t paying for child care expenses.

“Since the time of the entry of the Final Judgement and Decree, [Warnock] has not exercised the parenting time schedule that was signed and executed at the time of the divorce,” the original complaint from February 2022 reads. “In mid-2020, work-related obligations began to take [Warnock] regularly out of town for extended periods of time.”

The complaint also accused Warnock of failing to properly pay child care expenses and make accommodations for his shifting work schedule.

“[Warnock] has failed and refused to reimburse [Ndoye] for childcare costs that has had incurred during [Warnock’s] time, often leaving [Ndoye] without adequate coverage,” the complaint continues. “This is particularly the case during weekdays, as [Warnock] was awarded two weekdays per week which he can no longer fulfill, as he is not in the City of Atlanta most weekdays.”

In other words, she is complaining that Warnock is putting his political career over his obligations to his children. They have two children, a six year old and a four year old. Warnock and Ndoye were divorced in 2020. They have joint legal custody and primary physical custody goes to Ndoye.

Ndoye doesn’t seem to be a fan of Warnock’s political ambitions. She released a video of him allegedly running over her foot with his car during an argument to expose how he acted toward her. This happened during their marriage and a police officer responded to a domestic violence call. So, his contentious relationship with his now-ex-wife is documented in the press.

During a rally in Atlanta, Herschel Walker made some comments about Warnock’s family.

Walker’s comments were said at a campaign stop where the Republican candidate made the absurd claim that Sen. Warnock “didn’t keep his own kids.” This stems from a Republican attack on Warnock over a custody battle with his ex-wife and claims the Democratic senator uses campaign funds to pay for childcare costs. However, the Federal Election Commission allows candidates to use campaign funds to cover childcare costs, as Politico notes.

“Why don’t he keep his own kids? Don’t have nobody keep your kids. You keep your kids,” said Walker. “And he’s got somebody else keep – I keep my own even though he lied about me. It’s okay. It’s okay because he’s trying to get your vote.”

By “keep his own kids”, I assume Walker means paying child support. Or maybe not hiring babysitters to care for them when he’s gone. I’m not sure. Anyway, Walker implies that Warnock isn’t taking care of his kids. Warnock blasted Walker for a lack of self-awareness, given the stories that have come out against Walker and his children that people were not aware of until the campaign was underway.

“I know that politics is ugly. People play all kinds of games, unfortunately. But Herschel Walker and his allies have crossed a line where my family is concerned,” Warnock said in an interview.

“I want to set the record straight: My children live with me. I am present with my children in every way that a father should be, from breakfast in the morning to bedtime prayers at night. I can’t continue to let him lie about our family.”

“To say that he lacks self-awareness is an understatement. We have only learned about most of his children during this race,” Warnock said. “There are two men in this campaign. One has been missing in action for his family – and that person is not me.”

Here’s the thing- normally I don’t think that children should be dragged into political campaigns. They didn’t choose to be a part of this, especially such very young children like Warnock’s. But, in this case, Warnock’s campaign stump speeches include slamming Walker for his past actions with women and the stories of abortion allegations though he is now pro-life. Do we think that Gloria Allred parachuted into the Georgia senate race without the Warnock campaign knowing anything about it and the woman who claimed Walker paid for her abortion? Warnock, a pastor who supports abortion up until the time of delivery, has his own hypocrisy to answer for, if you ask me, yet Walker is dinged for looking like a hypocrite.

And, as far as claims about Warnock using campaign funds to cover child care costs, that tracks. He has doubled his personal income since being in the Senate and he knows how to work the system to his financial advantage.

It’s cringey that the Warnock children are pulled into their parents’ custody battles and into their father’s campaign. That said, this is the political atmosphere in which we live. Raphael Warnock has no successes in the Senate to point to as a reason he should be given a full term in the Senate by Georgia voters. His campaign only has some partisan Democrat successes to tout and then go after Herschel Walker’s personal character. Both candidates have baggage and there is no getting away from that.

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