Former NFL Player Herschel Walker To Run For U.S. Senate In Georgia

Former football player Herschel Walker launched his campaign for United States Senate in Georgia on Wednesday.

“I’m a kid from a small town in Georgia who lived the American Dream, and I’m ready to fight to keep that dream alive for you too,” the former athlete said.

“Our country is at a crossroads, and I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore,” Walker said. “In the United States, 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.”

“America is the greatest country in the world, but too many politicians in Washington are afraid to say that,” Walker said. “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.”

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Walker in June. The two have known each other since the eighties when Walker played for the New Jersey Generals in the United States Football League. Trump was a co-owner of the team.

Donald Trump Jr. wrote in his book “Triggered” about the time he went to Disney World with Walker and his family. The former football player also appeared on Trump’s show on NBC, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

“He’s a great guy. He’s a patriot. He’s a very loyal person. They love him in Georgia, I’ll tell you,” President Trump said during an interview on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.”

“I think he’d win,” the former President said. “I think it would be very, very hard to beat Herschel.”

“The Georgia Republican Party is still dominated at the grassroots level by Trump supporters,” Chuck Clay, a former Georgia State Senator, said. “The endorsement certainly is the single largest force in a Republican primary right now, so with the hardest-core voters, I’d say Walker has the edge.”

In July, the Associated Press published a report about Walker’s past, including his struggles with dissociative identity disorder, violent threats he made against his ex-wife, and how he lied about the revenue his company was bringing in and the number of people employed.

“He’s been upfront about some of his problems,” Clay said. “I certainly don’t think it’s a disqualifier for him, but there are some legitimate questions. It’s also a campaign fodder — in the primary, in the general.”

Walker has never run for public office, and his past is questionable. Some GOP strategists say that Walker could cost them a critical seat.

“Walker’s entrance into Georgia’s chaotic GOP Senate primary is the nightmare scenario that Republicans have spent the entire cycle trying to avoid,” Dan Gottlieb, a spokesperson for the Georgia Democratic Party, said.

“I do not know a single credible Republican strategist in Georgia or Washington who thinks he can be beaten in the primary,” Erick Erickson, an Atlanta radio host, wrote in a blog. “I do not know a single credible Republican strategist who thinks he can win the general.”

Walker is also facing scrutiny over this residency in Texas. He has lived in Dallas for over ten years. His wife, Julie Blanchard was investigated by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office for voting in Georgia last year.

There are three other Republicans that are interested in the Senate seat — Businessman Kelvin King, Georgia State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, and former banking executive Latham Saddler.

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling suggests that Walker is trailing Freshman Democrat Senator Dr. Reverend Raphael Warnock by only two points. Black was 8 points behind.

“People are going to judge for themselves whether he’s still struggling with these issues or if he’s overcome them,” Jay Williams, a Georgia-based Republican strategist, said. “I think the good news is he’s got a preseason in this primary. If he does really well there, the general is going to be a lot easier than expected. If it’s a difficult primary, he might have some trouble at the end.”

“He’s going to make mistakes. He’s going to do things that all new candidates do,” Williams said. ” The question is, how does he recover from those mistakes? How does he handle the primary campaign?”

“As long as he show’s he’s competent; he’s going to be the person to beat over Warnock,” Williams said.

“Yeah, he can take a hit on the football field,” Clay said. “But can he continue to take a hit in the day-to-day grind when he’s out campaigning?”

Walker’s past can kill his bid, and President Trump’s endorsement can see him through to victory.

“There’s no telling what will happen,” Fred Smith, a Constitutional Law scholar at Emory University, said.

About RavenH

Raven Haywood is a journalist for 10+ years. Graduate from Howard University.

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