Herschel Walker, the GOP nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, was reprimanded by a moderator for flashing a “prop” police badge in his debate Friday against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
During a response to a question about crime, Warnock criticized Walker for falsely claiming in the past that he had once worked in law enforcement.
“One thing I’ve not done is I’ve never pretended to be a police officer, and I’ve never threatened a shootout with the police,” Warnock said, referring to how the former football star once talked about a police shootout, according to a 21-year-old police report.
Walker then pulled out what appeared to be a fake police badge and held it up on stage, drawing a scolding from one of the moderators.
“You’re very well aware of the rules, aren’t you?” the moderator said.
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In a 2019 speech, Walker claimed he had once worked in law enforcement.
“I spent time at Quantico at the FBI training schools. Y’all didn’t know I was an agent? I probably shouldn’t tell y’all that. Y’all don’t care about that. Yeah, I’ve been in law enforcement,” Walker said at the time.
There’s no record of Walker ever having worked in law enforcement. He has touted the fact that he received an honorary deputy sheriff card reportedly given to him by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.
Walker’s campaign has been marred by a string of scandals surrounding his personal conduct, including the recent allegation that he paid for the abortion of a former girlfriend in 2009 despite his staunch anti-abortion views. Walker has denied the reports and accused the woman of lying. His conservative son, meanwhile, has turned on him and called him a liar.
The race is one of the key battles in the upcoming election that could determine control of the Senate. Warnock, a pastor who won his seat in a 2021 runoff, is seeking his first full term in office.
Public polling has shown Warnock with a small but consistent lead over Walker. If either candidate doesn’t receive more than 50% of the vote in November, there will be a runoff.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.