Walker Props Up Tenants Warnock Allegedly 'Evicted', Dodges Questions

Republican Herschel Walker spoke for roughly eight minutes Tuesday morning outside of Columbia Tower at MLK Village, smearing incumbent and Democrat Raphael Warnock for evicting residents from the low-income apartment complex in downtown Atlanta ahead of cold weather.

Walker and Warnock have fought neck-and-neck in the Georgia senate race. Walker, a former NFL running back, has lost footing in the polls after rumors surfaced that he paid for an abortion for a former girlfriend. The two faced off at a debate October 14, and Walker was absent from a debate Sunday night. Further jabs were made against Walker when he displayed a fake police badge during the candidates' first debate. Walker is returning political punches, accusing Warnock of evicting Columbia Tower residents.

During the press conference, tenants who had allegedly received eviction notices lined up behind Walker. Walker alleged that Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which Warnock is a pastor, owns the building and that Warnock's name is also in the filing.

A speaker introducing Walker spoke about the apartment complex's disheveled state, citing elevators needing repair, maintenance needs and grounds needing care.

Herschel Walker Speaks At An Event
Georgia Republican Senatorial candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event on October 11, 2022, in Carrollton, Georgia. Walker recently held a press conference accusing his opponent Raphael Warnock of evicting residents from a low-income apartment complex. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

However, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that although a nonprofit entity of Ebenezer Baptist Church owned the Columbia Tower building before selling to a for-profit company in 2007, all eviction actions were filed by property management company Columbia Residential, which owns 1 percent of the building and manages the daily operations.

"Once again, Herschel Walker and his allies are deliberately misleading Georgians about Reverend Warnock and now going so far as to attack his church, the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," Warnock's campaign manager Quentin Fulks said in an emailed statement to Newsweek. "Independent reporting has affirmed that there have been no evictions at the property, and that Reverend Warnock has nothing to do with its day-to-day operations."

A Columbia Residential spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a tenant hasn't been evicted for not paying rent since June 2020.

"As the building's sole management agent, Columbia Residential handles all aspects of property management at MLK Village; the building's owners bear no responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the property, nor do they exercise any oversight of the building tenants' rental transactions," the statement said.

Walker allegedly contacted "Senator Warnock's people" and offered to pay the outstanding rent of anyone in danger of eviction.

"The people behind us right now have been evicted. Yes, it's true," Walker said. "No one has left, but they got the eviction notice and [Warnock] knew about it. He needs to take responsibility to help the people. I offered to help, but he's turned me down."

Walker said he held the press conference so attendees could see what was happening at Columbia Tower, but when a reporter asked Walker if any of the people standing behind him had actually received eviction notices, things grew heated.

Instead of answering the question, Walker advised the reporter to visit the Columbia Tower residents after the press conference and speak to them about their experience.

"That's the reason I brought you down here," he said, accusing the journalist of reporting on other news items in Atlanta and not seeing what was happening at Columbia Tower.

The crowd of reporters started chanting "answer the question" for several seconds before Walker moved on to the next question. He didn't answer further questions about if the people behind him had been evicted or received eviction notices.

"I want everyone here to visit the people here and hear what's going on and do the same as I've done," Walker said. "Do your work."

"This is tough times," he added. "This weather is starting to get cold, so I don't want anyone evicted. I'm a man of Christ, and I don't know anywhere in the Bible where it says if someone is suffering, you leave them on the side of the road."