Tuesday afternoon, former University of Georgia running back and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker filed paperwork to officially run for United States Senate in 2022. Walker will presumably challenge incumbent, Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock.
According to Federal Election Commission documents filed today, Walker has relocated to Georgia and his campaign is registered at his wife’s house, Buckhead resident Julie Blanchard, which is also where Walker is registered to vote.
It is illegal for non-Georgia residents to vote in Georgia elections. Blanchard maintains she possesses a Georgia driver’s license and maintains business interests.
A native of Wrightsville, Walker was born in a town 141 miles away from Atlanta. In a video posted to Twitter in June, he revs the engine of a sports car and says, “I’m getting ready, and we can run with the big dogs,” before revealing a Georgia license plate.
However, no formal announcement has been made by Walker or his representatives.
Former President Donald Trump has urged Walker to mount a challenge to Warnock.
“Wouldn’t it be great if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Trump wrote in an official statement in March. “He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person. Run, Herschel, Run!”The Georgia Republican party has been in a holding pattern as Walker waited to make a decision regarding a run for Senate. Four-term Congressman, U.S. Rep Buddy Carter, R-Savannah, has repeatedly said he will not mount a bid for the Senate if Walker runs.
The remaining Republicans who are mounting challenges are Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, military veteran Kelvin King, one of former President Donald Trump’s Black surrogates; and Latham Saddler, a former Navy SEAL and Trump administration official.
Whoever emerges from the Republican primary will face a battle-tested Warnock. From April through June 2021, Warnock has been fundraising at a brisk pace.
Warnock’s campaign raised $7.2 million during the second quarter and finished June 30 with $10.5 million in cash on hand. Warnock’s campaign spent nearly $2.3 million during the period. His campaign says 110,000 people donated.
Meanwhile, Walker has been open and up front regarding his personal life that could become political fodder during his campaign. According to research by the Associated Press, documents detail accusations that Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with unpredictable behavior.
Walker, now 59, has at times been open about his long struggle with mental illness, writing at length in a 2008 book about being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder. But it’s unclear how he would discuss these events as a candidate.
Walker “certainly could bring a lot of things to the table,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, said in a recent interview. “But as others have mentioned, there’s also a lot of questions out there.”