He's got name recognition in the state and former President Donald Trump's "complete and total" endorsement, but some Georgia Republicans are questioning whether Herschel Walker is the right candidate to put up against incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Gary Black, a former state agriculture commissioner and next highest-polling candidate in the Senate race, is the loudest Republican voice against Walker. Black has tried to highlight Walker’s turbulent past and argue that he is unelectable in the fall.
“If Herschel Walker is the nominee for the Republican Party in Georgia, the race will be about Herschel Walker,” Black told the New York Times. “If I’m the nominee, the race will be about Raphael Warnock and why we should fire him.”
Many consider the former football player a risky choice. Walker lived in Texas for the past many years, until relocating to Georgia only after he saw an opportunity to run for the Senate seat. He's never held elected office, has been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife and repeatedly lies about the size and importance of his business enterprises.
In an interview with the New York Times, Walker said, "When I decided to run a lot of people called. The senators called and said, ‘Herschel can you raise the money? Herschel can you get people to cross over?’ I’m doing both.
"I go into these cities and give people hope,” he said on Monday in an interview at a meet-and-greet in LaGrange, a small town about an hour south of Atlanta. “Most everybody in Georgia knows who I am. The people that want to try to deny they know who I am aren’t from Georgia. Let’s be real.”
Walker reportedly has collected $10 million in campaign donations. Warnock raised $13 million in the last three months, according to financial disclosures.
Debra Jo Steele, a county party official asked Walker at the LaGrange event why he did not attend the recent GOP Senate debate. Walker said he was out of town receiving a business leadership award.
“It would be nice to have him be in a debate and he should sharpen his skills before he goes,” Steele told the New York Times. “If he wins the primary, he’s going to have a debate, I’m sure, with the Democratic contender. And it’s just kind of arrogant not to be on the stage.”