January 29, 2023

NO DIRECTION HOME: Herschel Walker rented out the Georgia house he claims as his residence

NO DIRECTION HOME: Herschel Walker rented out the Georgia house he claims as his residence

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Herschel Walker is running to represent the state of Georgia in the U.S. Senate — but his financial documents suggest that not only is his primary residence in Texas but the address he used for campaign filings was rented out in 2021.

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Is Walker even living in Georgia? His tax filings in Texas invoke a homestead exemption available for one’s primary residence, which is identified as his house in Dallas.

Walker identified his address for campaign purposes as a property in Georgia belonging to his wife, but financial records show that the house was being rented — and listed as a source of income — in 2021. Walker’s wife also faced an investigation last year, when she voted in Georgia while apparently living in Texas.

What does it mean for Walker’s campaign?

It may not mean much at all, legally speaking, as long as he resides in Georgia while representing the state (if he wins the runoff election against Democrat Raphael Warnock), but voters may hold legitimate concerns about how effective a Senator that has not been residing in their state may be in representing them.

From The Daily Beast:

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“The rental income, which was earned between 2020 and 2021, suggests the Walkers had not only not been living in Georgia before his campaign, but hadn’t used the home for anything but a passive cash stream. That further complicates the variegated story that Walker—a Georgia native and former Dallas Cowboy who has lived in Texas since stepping away from the NFL in the 1990s—has told about his relationship to the state he is now vying to represent in Washington.”

According to Axios, Walker may have run afoul of both Georgia residency requirements and Texas tax laws by filing to run in Georgia while claiming his homestead exemption in Texas, but it really depends on how aggressively the relevant entities decide to pursue either issue.

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Regardless, it’s unlikely to drop him from the ballot between now and next Tuesday, although there could be legal challenges to his candidacy.

Georgia officials have shown no sign so far of intent to investigate Walker’s residency — the issue has been on the radar since at least last year, when Macon TV station 13WMAZ raised the question, citing the Constitutional requirement to live in the state one is running to represent at the time of election, and his use of a Georgia address to meet the state’s residency requirements.

Of course, the revelation of the home’s use as rental income, rather than residence, may make a difference — but only if Georgia officials deem it worth an investigation.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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