Trump says that former NFL player Herschel Walker will run in the 2022 Georgia Senate race

Trump-walker-2
President Trump greets former NFL running back Herschel Walker at a campaign event aimed at Black Americans on Sept. 25, 2020. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • Former President Trump said that Herschel Walker will jump into the 2022 Georgia Senate race.
  • “He told me he’s going to, and I think he will,” Trump said. “He’s a great guy.”
  • Walker, a former University of Georgia standout, would likely enter the GOP contest as the party favorite.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that former NFL player Herschel Walker informed him that he planned to run in the 2022 Georgia Senate race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

During an interview on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, Trump, who for months has encouraged Walker to jump into the race, called the University of Georgia standout and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner a “patriot.”

“He told me he’s going to, and I think he will,” Trump said. “I had dinner with him a week ago. He’s a great guy. He’s a patriot. He’s a very loyal person.”

If Walker ultimately joins the race, he would likely enter the contest as a frontrunner in the Republican primary given the enduring power of the former president’s endorsements within the GOP base.

The other Republicans currently in the race include state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and two military veterans – Latham Saddler and Kelvin King.

Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, was a first-time candidate who became one of the Democratic Party’s strongest recruits in the 2020 Senate cycle, defeating appointed GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a high-stakes January 2021 runoff election.

Read more: 
7 ways Democratic strategists say Joe Biden should prepare for a deluge of GOP Hunter Biden investigations if Republicans retake Congress in 2022

Loeffler is also reportedly considering a rematch against Warnock next year.

A contest between Warnock and Walker would feature a rare Senate election between two prominent Black candidates in a Southern swing state where the Black electorate will play a decisive role in the outcome of the election.

With the Senate currently split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, the race is also expected to rank as one of the most competitive contests, especially with Republicans eager to defeat Warnock and possibly regain their majority in the upper chamber.

Georgia, once a deeply conservative GOP stronghold, has morphed into a purple state.

In the 2020 presidential election, now-President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the state by roughly 12,000 votes out of nearly 5 million votes cast, the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 28 years.

In the January 2021 Senate runoff elections, Warnock’s electoral win was augmented by the victory of Democrat Jon Ossoff, who beat incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue in a separate runoff election for a full term.