(PresidentialWire.com)- Herschel Walker, the former football star at the University of Georgia and the NFL, has thrown the Senate race in Georgia into a tizzy.
Walker, a pro-Trump Republican, will be challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. There’s a lot that Walker brings to the table, including his status as a well-known local football star and the support of former President Donald Trump.
There are concerns among some in the Republican Party, though, about whether Walker is a good candidate — or whether he’ll just be taking votes away from another potential better challenger to Warnock.
Walker hasn’t run for any public office before, so he’ll be running a lot on his celebrity status. Of course, that certainly hasn’t hurt others in the past, including Trump himself.
Some Republican strategists are also wondering how he’s going to handle questions about struggles he’s had in the past with mental illness as well as allegations that he’s had violent behavior.
A former GOP chairman and state senator in Georgia, Chuck Clay, explained further:
“He’s been upfront about some of his problems. I certainly don’t think it’s a disqualifier for him, but there are some legitimate questions. It’s also campaign fodder — in the primary, in the general.
“Yeah, he can take a hit on the football field, but can he continue to take a hit in the day-to-day grind when he’s out campaigning?”
Warnock’s seat is one of the key races in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. Warnock winning the runoff for the seat in January was one of the main reasons why Democrats were able to capture the majority in the U.S. Senate. Unseating him will be key for the Republicans in their quest to take back the upper chamber.
Right now, there is an equal 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. Democrats have control, though, because Vice President Kamala Harris casts any tiebreaking votes in her role as president of the Senate.
Republicans only need to flip one Senate seat in the 2022 midterms to take control of the Senate. Of course, they need to make sure that none of the seats currently occupied by a GOP member don’t flip, either.
The Georgia race is likely to be one of the ones that is most paid attention to, which is why Walker’s entrance into the race is so intriguing.
Just because the former football star has thrown his hat into the ring, though, doesn’t mean he’ll face off against Warnock. Three other Republicans have also announced they will be running for the same Senate seat. That includes Kelvin King (a businessman), Latham Saddler (a former executive in the banking industry) and Gary Black (the current Georgia Agriculture Commissioner).
It’s also possible that Kelly Loeffler, who lost the runoff election to Warnock in January, will get back into the mix.
Walker could have the advantage over all these candidates still, and not just because he’s a former star athlete. It’s because Trump has his back. As Clay pointed out:
“The Georgia Republican Party is still dominated at the grassroots level by Trump supporters. 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.”