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Herschel Walker still sits on a mountain of campaign cash after Senate loss

Herschel Walker. (Arvin Temkar/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

More than seven months after losing his U.S. Senate bid, Republican Herschel Walker’s campaign still has nearly $4.5 million in its account. And some donors are pressing to get their contributions back.

The most recent financial report, filed Saturday, showed six donors received refunds totaling $15,600. Among them is Jim Kingston, an Atlanta insurance executive who is the son of former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston.

“Herschel has always been known for his generosity,” said Kingston, who received a refund for his $1,000 donation in June, “and I am glad he is willing to reimburse those of us who worked really hard on his campaign.”

Walker’s account has grown slightly since the last filing in April, when he disclosed he donated more than $1 million of his campaign cash to charities and GOP groups. It increased mostly due to a $164,000 refund from a media buying firm for ads that never aired.

Under federal election law, campaign committees can give gifts to charity and political organizations, though they can’t be used for purposes that personally benefit the candidate.

Walker, who recently reenrolled at the University of Georgia, and his former aides didn’t comment on the report. The former football star was the sole statewide Republican to lose in last year’s midterm, falling to Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock after a scandal-plagued campaign.

The financial report also shows Walker spent about $30,000 for legal fees between April and June, most of which came after reports of an accusation that Walker directed more than half a million dollars in campaign contributions to one of his businesses.

Emails first obtained by The Daily Beast and confirmed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Walker asked Montana billionaire Dennis Washington for a $600,000 donation — and Walker told him to wire about $535,000 of the sum to a company he runs called HR Talent.

An aide to Washington said the money was ultimately returned after he asked for a refund when he realized the destination for the cash was to Walker’s personal account and not to his campaign. Walker hasn’t commented on the transaction.

The financial report also shows Walker refunded a $2,900 donation as part of a “disgorgement” to the Justice Department. Officials say it is a voluntary refund of a donation from the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX to repay its victims.


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