Canton, Ga.- Political newcomer Herschel Walker is getting comfortable these days. The former University of Georgia and Dallas Cowboys running back has defied many expectations and met many others by qualifying for a runoff with his opponent Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA). Thursday night under a tent surrounded by hundreds of supporters waving signs and flags, and with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) by his side, Walker admitted he “isn’t a politician” but “I want to tell you guys something, they say we’re in overtime, that means we got a runoff,” he said. “I was built for this.”

Walker (above) easily won Cherokee County during the general midterm election Tuesday. he was back there to kick off his runoff campaign.
Photo by Julia Beverly/The Atlanta Voice

Walker received the majority of votes in Cherokee County Tuesday night during the midterm election and decided to pick low-hanging fruit by kicking off his runoff campaign in Canton. Getting Cruz to campaign with him could be seen as a missed opportunity for Walker, who received less overall votes than Warnock during the election. 

Senator Ted Cruz greets Walker and GOP supporters in Canton Thursday, November 11, 2022. Photo by Julia Beverly/The Atlanta Voice

Cruz spent his 12 minutes on stage praising Walker, knocking the current presidential administration and Walker. “I want everyone here to look around this tent. We have over 3,000 people gathered here tonight,” said Cruz. “We have the men and women of Georgia rising up and saying to the Marxist that are trying to destroy this country, ‘hell no,’”.  

The general election runoff will take place Tuesday, December 6. As with any runoff election, there is a valid expectation that there will not be as many voters heading to their local polling station. Just over 66,000 Cherokee County residents voted early during the midterm election. For a county of 266,620 that is a high percentage, and for Walker to begin his runoff campaign in Canton, the county seat, appears to be a move to secure votes he received the first time around. “Herschel Walker did not have to do this,” said Cruz. “He stood up and answered the call.”

A child holds aloft a football while watching Walker Thursday night in Canton. Photo by Julia Beverly/The Atlanta Voice

Before leaving the stage Cruz said, “The people of Georgia have the chance to save the country. Georgia is going to win for America.” 

Walker spent his time behind the microphone repeating disparaging remarks about Warnock, which went a long way with the crowd. The majority of which was made up of white men and women, some wearing red ‘Run Herschel, Run’ caps. “We’re a great country, but the way we become greater is by coming together,” Walker said. “I’m not a politician, I’m a warrior for God.”

The later comment brought on the loudest cheer of the night. There was no mention of any economic plan Walker had in place if he were to win the runoff election.  

“We have to get out and vote,” he said to the crowd, many of whom were also wearing University of Georgia jerseys and hats and had lined up for the event hours before its start. There were also people wearing MAGA caps and even a man in a costume that could only be described as a combination of former President Donald J. Trump, Rocky Balboa and Uncle Sam.

On becoming a senator, Walker said, “I’m not going to Washington to make friends. I’m going to Washington to do my job. I’m going to Washington to protect my family and all of you are my family.”

Hundreds filled a tent at The Mill at Etowah in Canton Thursday night in order to hear and see Walker and Cruz.
Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

Warnock also took to a comfortable setting to begin his runoff campaign, holding a press conference in front of the John Lewis mural on Auburn Avenue Thursday afternoon. 

Early voting begins Saturday, November 26 in some counties and everywhere Monday, November 28.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...