In a campaign speech on Wednesday, the Republican candidate for US Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, told supporters: “I don’t want to be a vampire any more. I want to be a werewolf.”
The remark was the latest controversial or outright bizarre intervention from the former football star who like other candidates endorsed by Donald Trump struggled to overcome his Democratic opponent in the midterm elections.
Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Georgia senator, outpolled Walker last week but did not pass 50% of the vote, meaning that under state law a runoff will be held on 6 December. Control of the Senate has been decided, after Democrats won in Arizona and Nevada, but the Georgia race will still be keenly watched.
On Wednesday, Walker spoke in McDonough.
Choosing to rehash the plot of a film he said he recently watched late at night, whose title he remembered as “Fright Night, Freak Night, or some type of night”, he said in rambling remarks: “I don’t know if you know, but vampires are some cool people, are they not? But let me tell you something that I found out: a werewolf can kill a vampire. Did you know that? I never knew that.
“So, I don’t want to be a vampire any more. I want to be a werewolf.”
Footage of the remarks swiftly went viral, as has footage of other rambling speeches, a decision during a debate to brandish what Walker claimed was a police badge, and discussion of a succession of campaign controversies.
He has been shown to have fathered previously unacknowledged children – and has seen his own son denounce him – and though he is campaigning on an anti-abortion platform, he is alleged to have pressured two women to have abortions.
In McDonough, Walker’s discussion of the unnamed vampire film led him to a character he said deployed a cross and holy water against a vampire without the expected effect. This, Walker said, showed that life “don’t even work unless you’ve got faith. We gotta have faith.
“It is time for us to have faith,” he continued. “We gotta have faith in our fellow brothers. Gotta have faith in this country. We gotta have faith in elected officials. And right now that’s the reason I’m here.”
Walker’s opponent is a man of faith. Before winning election as the first Black senator from Georgia (and only the 11th Black senator ever), Warnock was pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, formerly home to the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Walker also said the vampire in the film he watched was “looking real good in his black suit. Whoa, that sounds like Senator Warnock, doesn’t it?”