The 59-year-old Walker joins the race with high name recognition, known for winning a Heisman Trophy in 1982 as a University of Georgia running back. Perhaps more importantly in today’s Republican Party, he carries the backing of former President Donald Trump
Walker has never run for office and will likely face scrutiny over past struggles with mental illness as well as policy stances. But if he emerges from the Republican primary, the Senate contest would feature two Black men vying for a seat in the heart of the Deep South.
Walker stayed mum Tuesday, continuing a pattern of few comments even has he started taking steps to put a Senate bid in motion. He registered to vote last week at an Atlanta house owned by his wife, Julie Blanchard. Walker signed Federal Election Commission papers Tuesday declaring his candidacy, allowing him to raise money for a Senate run.
Republicans already running for the Senate seat include state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, former banking executive and Navy veteran Latham Saddler and contractor Kelvin King. Some other potential GOP candidates may not run with Walker’s entry into the race, including former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost a to Warnock in a January special election runoff, and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a four-term congressman from near Savannah.