Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) asked a Georgia state court judge this week to seal the records regarding his ongoing child custody dispute. In his motion filed in his case, he argues that because he is running this year for reelection, his political opponent could use the records to “gain some political advantage.”
The motion was made jointly with his ex-wife, Oulèye Ndoye. The two parents stated that if the hearings on the custody modification case are not closed, they and their children will be “prejudiced.” The motion alleges that Warnock’s opponent is using public records to gain political advantage and said the children are at risk of harm from “any unstable person” who might have sympathy for Warnock’s opponent.
In the event the court agrees to grant the motion, Warnock will be able to largely avoid a stressful campaign issue as he is facing one of the most competitive of this year’s midterm federal elections.
Ndoye asked the court to reopen the custody dispute in February with a new filing that accuses Warnock of neglecting to care for the children and failing to pay for child care as previously ordered. She argued that Warnock has left her “financially strapped.” She alleged that Warnock makes a habit of failing to give notice of when he will be out of town at times he is scheduled to be caring for the children. She also claimed that he often has friends pick the children up from school and has been leaving them overnight “with various babysitters” while he is traveling.
The couple married in 2016 and divorced in 2020. Ndoye accused Warnock of intentionally running over her foot with his Tesla vehicle in 2020 while they were arguing.
The court has ordered the pair to attend mediation by May 7 to attempt to reach a settlement of the current dispute. A status hearing has been scheduled for May 16.
The Republican primary in Georgia to determine who will run against Warnock in the general election in November is set for May 24.
Football icon Herschel Walker is leading a crowded field of Republican contenders to take on Warnock. He won the Heisman Trophy while playing for the University of Georgia in 1982 and led the team to the national championship the season before. Before joining the NFL in 1985, he played professionally in the USFL for the New Jersey Generals, owned by Donald Trump.
Walker announced on Friday that his campaign raised $5.5 million over the first three months of 2022. Warnock’s campaign has announced that it raised $13.6 million over the same period. In a projected general election contest, Walker leads Warnock by 1.6 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
In the event no candidate in the Republican primary receives more than 50 percent of the vote on May 24, a runoff primary between the top two vote-getters will be held on June 21.