Herschel Walker on Tuesday filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in Georgia after months of speculation, joining other Republicans seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022.
Walker, 59, joins the race with high name recognition, having won the Heisman Trophy in 1982 as a University of Georgia running back. Perhaps more important in today’s Republican Party, he carries the backing of former President Donald Trump.
Walker has never run for office and will likely face scrutiny over his turbulent personal history as well as policy stances. But if he emerges from the Republican primary, the Senate contest would feature two Black men vying for a seat in the heart of the Deep South.
Walker stayed mum Tuesday, continuing a pattern of few comments as he started to put a Senate bid in motion. He registered to vote last week, using an Atlanta residence owned by his wife, Julie Blanchard. Walker signed Federal Election Commission papers Tuesday declaring his candidacy, allowing him to raise money for a Senate run.
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 has publicly encouraged Walker to enter the primary, telling a radio show in June that “he’s a great guy, he’s a patriot and he’s a very loyal person, he’s a very strong person. They love him in Georgia, I tell you.”