Herschel Walker: Everything to know about ex-NFL player and his Senate challenge marred by controversies

Mr Walker has no prior experience in politics, civics or law

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 09 November 2022 03:51 GMT
Pastor Jamal Bryant rallies against Herschel Walker in fiery speech amid Georgia senate race

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Before Herschel Walker, 60, was running for an open Senate seat in Georgia, he was best known for running for passes in the NFL.

Mr Walker, who is challenging incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock for his seat in Georgia, began his career as a professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys, where he played several positions. He went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants, and returned to the Cowboys for a final year before retiring in 1997.

Mr Walker has never won a Super Bowl.

Outside of his professional football career, Mr Walker has dabbled in the world of consumer foods. He opened a restaurant in Athens, Georgia, in 1984 and started his own food distribution service in 1999 called Renaissance Man Food Services.

The former football player’s arrival in politics occurred in 2014, when he appeared in a commercial supporting then-Georgia Senate candidate Jack Kingston’s campaign. He later endorsed Republican Brian Kemp in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election and former President Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Mr Walker, along with fellow Senate candidate Dr Mehmet Oz, was appointed to Mr Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. He was forced out by the Biden administration in 2022.

In 2021, Mr Trump encouraged Mr Walker to run against Mr Warnock for Georgia’s Senate seat. The former NFL str announced his candidacy later that year.

Mr Walker’s candidacy has been marred by past complaints of domestic violence, lampooned for his claims that he worked as a law enforcement officer, and scandals alleging he paid for an abortion for two former girlfriends despite his staunchly anti-abortion politics.

Following the abortion allegations, Mr Walker’s son, right-wing commentator Christian Walker, issued videos denouncing his father and calling him a liar for presenting himself as a devout Christian with family values.

Mr Walker divorced Christian’s mother, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, after 19 years of marriage in 2002. He is now married to Julie Blanchard. Beyond Christian, Mr Walker reportedly has two sons and a daughter who he did not acknowledge until reporting forced his hand in 2022, despite claiming that fatherless households were a "major, major problem" in the US.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mr Walker is worth between $29m and $65m.

Mr Walker’s platform has fallen generally in-line with Maga ideology, including a strong stance against abortion, focusing on mental health as a core issue driving gun violence in America, expressing support for the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, climate scepticism, cutting federal regulations to boost the economy, opposition to transgender athletes, and leaving laws about same-sex marriage up to the states.

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