Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Herschel Walker, a former standout
running back at the University of Georgia who captured the Heisman
Trophy in 1982, won the Republican Party nomination for Senate in
Georgia on Tuesday night.
Walker dominated the six-person GOP
field with 68.2 percent of the vote, according to the state’s
official election website. No one else received more than 13.4
percent with 95 percent of precincts reported.
The 60-year-old Georgia native advances
to face incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in the general
election. It’ll mark the first time in the state’s history that both major party candidates for a Senate seat are Black, per ESPN.
Walker has faced multiple allegations
of domestic abuse, including two instances where women said he
threatened to kill them, according to CNN’s Manu Raju and Alex
Walker has denied the allegations.
In 2008, the former NFL star said he
was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and sought
treatment for mental illness after an incident where he played
Russian roulette with a loaded pistol.
“To challenge death like I was
doing, you start saying, there’s a problem here,” Walker told
ABC News at the time.
Mitch McConnell, the minority leader
for the Senate GOP, told CNN he came away “entirely comfortable” after looking into Walker’s past.
His Senate bid was bolstered by an
endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who remains a key
influencer in the Republican Party ahead of a possible 2024
“You were the greatest football
player, and you’ll be an even greater politician,” Trump said while
congratulating Walker on his primary victory, per CNBC’s Kevin
The running back played for Trump’s New
Jersey Generals in the USFL in the mid-1980s before moving on to the NFL, where
he earned two Pro Bowl selections during his time with the Dallas
Cowboys. He also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia
Eagles and New York Giants.
Warnock, a pastor from Atlanta’s
Ebenezer Baptist Church, won a special election in 2021 to fill the
remainder of Johnny Isakson’s term after his retirement in 2019
because of health reasons.
The Georgia Senate race will be one of
the country’s most closely watched heading into the Nov. 8 general election
because it could help decide the balance of power in the Senate,
which currently has a 50-50 split.
Either Warnock or Walker will win a
full six-year term in Congress.