As area voters at downtown Dawsonville’s Pool Room thronged around Republican U.S. Senate contender Herschel Walker Monday, one could sense their palpable optimism for their preferred candidate ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff election between Walker and Democrat Raphael Warnock.
Straight-ballot Republicans, avid Walker supporters and reporters from national and international media outlets all attended the morning meet-and-greet, the Republican candidate’s third visit to the city.
Pool Room owner Gordon Pirkle and some of his family members also came to the event on Monday.
“I feel like Herschel is a country boy, and we are from the country. It’s his faith story… and he has put his Christian values out there,” Pirkle’s daughter, Hayley Garrett said, describing Walker’s appeal as a candidate.
Another attendee, longtime Dawson County resident Shelley Jackson, called Walker a “good man” and “honest.”
“He may not be as smart as Warnock, but he loves this country, and I think that’s very important to have good people in there (in office) that love the country,” Jackson said.
That voter motivation seems to have spread to the ballot box as well, with a record number of Dawson County residents casting ballots early in the Dec. 6 U.S. Senate runoff election.
On Dec. 2, the last day of local advance voting for the senatorial runoff, 1,623 voters cast their vote at the BOER office as of 7 p.m. that evening, stated a Dawson County Board of Elections and Registration Facebook post.
Overall, 7,124 votes have been cast in Dawson County for the 2022 general election senatorial runoff. That represents 31.96% of Dawson County active voters, the post said.
This level of turnout was reached within one week, whereas 41.48% of Dawson County voters turned out for the Nov. 8 general election over two weeks and two Saturdays.
Put another way, about twice as many local voters turned out on average per day to vote early in the senatorial runoff as compared to early voters in the November general election.
DCN will provide updated election results coverage online after polls close on Dec. 6.