Because nothing should surprise us about Republican politics anymore, somehow, Herschel Walker managed to secure the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. In a six-way race that included Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner managed to secure 68 percent of the vote.
Walker, who was one of 81 Black Republicans competing in the 2022 primary elections, goes into the general election with the support of former President Donald Trump who encouraged the former pro-football player to run for office. The two have had a long bromance that goes back to 1984 when Trump, once an owner of the United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals, extended Walker’s contract. Walker also appeared on Trump’s reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice in 2009. In an interview with The Guardian, Walker defended Trump saying, “I do know Donald Trump, and I don’t think he’s a racist.”
With the Republican nomination in hand, Walker will face Democratic incumbent Rev. Raphael Warnock, who secured 96 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. Republicans have a special interest in securing the Georgia seat as they look to regain control of the Senate in the midterm elections. A recent RealClear Politics poll showed Walker and Warnock tied in a general election showdown.
But voters don’t really know what they’re getting. Walker avoided interviews and skipped most of the primary debates, instead choosing to fundraise for his campaign. His critics believe Walker did his best to stay out of the spotlight to avoid questions about key campaign issues and questionable items in his past. According to the AP, Walker’s ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, filed a protective order against him in 2005 on account of “violent and controlling behavior.” And the Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovered evidence of a series of settlements and lawsuits claiming Walker and his businesses owed millions of dollars in unpaid loans.
It’s safe to say all eyes will be on Georgia in November.