Herschel Walker officially launches Ga. bid for Senate seat

Herschel Walker & Paul Maholm play in pro-am, David Toms talks LSU & SFC
Herschel Walker & Paul Maholm play in pro-am, David Toms talks LSU & SFC
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:21 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Herschel Walker says he “can’t sit on the sidelines anymore” as he joins Georgia’s Senate race as a Republican candidate.

He was a football star at the University of Georgia and has former President Donald Trump as his cheerleader.

If Walker wins the GOP nomination, his challenge of Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022 would be historic, featuring two Black men in the heart of the Deep South.

Walker’s first statement as a candidate Wednesday says he’s lived the American Dream, but it’s slipping away for many people.

He previously filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. and registered to vote in Georgia, where is originally from, having grown up in Wrightsville.

“Our country is at a crossroads, and I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore,” he said in a statement. “America is the greatest country in the world, but too many politicians in Washington are afraid to say that. Where else could a poor kid from a small town in Georgia become valedictorian of his high school, earn the Heisman Trophy, play professional football, represent the United States in the Olympics, and become CEO of multiple companies? I have lived the American Dream, but I am concerned it is slipping away for many people.

“In the United States Senate, I will stand up for conservative values and get our country moving in the right direction. It is time to have leaders in Washington who will fight to protect the American Dream for everybody.”

His campaign noted that he led the University of Georgia football team to a national championship, won the Heisman Trophy, set records during a professional football career in the USFL and NFL, represented the U.S. in the Olympics, went undefeated in mixed martial arts, and has run multiple successful businesses. Additionally, he authored a book in which he shared how he overcame challenges with mental health and has dedicated his life to helping others with similar struggles.

Word of the FEC filing came after Walker has registered to vote in Georgia at an Atlanta house owned by his wife, Julie Blanchard.

Trump has been urging Walker to run.

The 59-year-old Walker won a Heisman Trophy as a University of Georgia running back in 1982, followed by a long pro career. He has been living in Texas, but registering to vote means he’s legally attesting that he now lives in Georgia.

Warnock won a special election runoff for the Senate seat in January, giving Democrats control of Senate, but he must run again in 2022.

Georgia Republicans already running for the Senate seat include state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, former banking executive and Navy veteran Latham Saddler and contractor Kelvin King. Trump’s support will be key in a Republican primary, but could be a liability in a general election in closely divided Georgia.

In June, Walker tweeted a video that fed speculation he would run. Titled “Georgia on mind,” the recording shows him revving the engine of a car with a Georgia license plate. “I’m getting ready,” he says. “And we can run with the big dogs.”

The Associated Press has reported that Walker’s ex-wife and her sister reported that he threatened his ex-wife’s life, that Walker exaggerated claims about private-sector success and that he often fought with business associates.

State election officials opened an investigation into Blanchard’s residency after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that records show she voted in Georgia despite living in Texas. A case sheet obtained by the AP shows the Secretary of State’s office opened the investigation into Blanchard on Aug. 10. Walker is among Trump supporters who continue to repeat the president’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him through fraud. Election officials nationwide found no widespread fraud.

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