Sen. Warnock reports $9.8M raised to Herschel Walker's $5.4M

 Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia reports raising a hefty $9.8 million in the last quarter of 2021, nearly twice the fundraising haul touted by Herschel Walker, the leading Republican contender for the seat

Walker's campaign said in a statement Wednesday that he raised $5.4 million in the three-month period ending Dec. 31.

A statement by Warnock's campaign said his fourth-quarter fundraising total was his biggest yet, boosted by 130,000 individual donors whose average contribution was $43. The campaign said Warnock ended the quarter with $23 million in cash on hand.

Walker's campaign said more than 44,000 people in all 50 states made donations to the Republican candidate in the fourth-quarter. It said he has raised nearly $10 million total since entering the race in August but did not disclose how much cash he still had in the bank as of Dec. 31.

Further details won't be available until Warnock and Walker file their quarterly fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. The deadline for Senate candidates is Monday.

Warnock raised more than $125 million for his 2020 Senate race, according to FEC reports. In the 2022 campaign cycle, he had raised $44 million as of Sept. 30.

In the GOP primary for the Senate seat, Walker faces at least three other Republicans who have declared candidacies. Gary Black serves as Georgia's agriculture commissioner, Latham Saddler is a Navy veteran and former bank executive, and Kelvin King owns a construction company. Their campaigns have not yet filed fourth-quarter fundraising reports and did not immediately respond to email messages Wednesday.

Black has publicly questioned Walker's fitness to serve in the Senate, citing his rival's turbulent personal history. Walker has a lengthy history of mental health struggles, much of which he detailed in his autobiography. An investigation by The Associated Press in July revealed accusations that Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with unpredictable behavior.

A Walker campaign spokeswoman, Mallory Blount, dismissed Black's criticism as a desperate move by a struggling candidate.