Herschel Walker, the scandal-plagued Republican candidate in a closely watched Senate runoff election in Georgia, said he lives in Texas in a newly unearthed recording.
In a January speech to the University of Georgia’s College Republicans, the former football star stated plainly, “I live in Texas,” despite competing against Democrat Raphael Warnock for Georgia’s US Senate seat.
“Everyone asks me, why did I decide to run for a Senate seat? Because to be honest with you, this is never something I ever, ever, ever thought in my life I’d ever do,” Mr Walker told the club, according to a report from CNN’s KFILE.
“And that’s the honest truth. As I was sitting in my home in Texas, I was sitting in my home in Texas, and I was seeing what was going on in this country,” he continued. “I was seeing what was going on in this country with how they were trying to divide people.”
The investigation further found that during media appearances and campaign events, Mr Walker appeared from his Texas home at least four times. Prior to announcing his campaign, the former Dallas Cowboys running back made 20 such appearances from the Lone Star State.
The revelation follows a previous CNN report that Mr Walker claimed a tax break on his multi-million dollar Texas home in 2021 and 2022 intended for primary residents, saving himself an estimated $1,500 and potentially running afoul of both Texas tax law and Georgia election procedures.
The Independent has contacted the Walker campaign for comment.
On Sunday, a citizen complaint filed with the Georgia attorney general’s office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation urged the authorities to “promptly investigate this apparent violation of Georgia law.”
The following day, congresswoman Nikema Williams, a Democrat, voiced similar concerns that Mr Walker “lied about being a Georgia resident.”
“Georgians deserve answers, and Walker must be held accountable for his pattern of lies and disturbing conduct,” she said, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
After living in Texas for two decades, Mr Walker registed to vote in Atlanta in 2021, not long before he announced his Georgia Senate campaign.
Since then, opponents have hammered him on whether he truly lived in Georgia, much as Republican Senate candidate Dr Mehmet Oz faced similar allegations of carpetbagging in Pennsylvania.
Mr Walker’s primary opponent, Georgia agriculture commissioner Gary Black, claimed the football star didn’t actually live in the state he aimed to represent.
“If my old schoolmate from UGA wants to join the conversation here in Georgia, I welcome hearing his ideas,” Mr Black said in a campaign ad. “But it takes more than pretending to change your car tags. Move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections and learn what Georgians have on their minds.”
The residency question is just the latest scandal to hit the Walker campaign.
The Georgia Senate runoff will take place on 6 December.