WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Retired soccer star Herschel Walker on Wednesday launched a marketing campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia that leaned closely on his private rise from poverty to sporting greatness, in addition to his assist from former President Donald Trump.
Walker, who has by no means earlier than run for elective workplace, will search the Republican nomination to tackle first-term Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock subsequent yr. The competition might play a vital position in figuring out whether or not President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats retain their razor-thin Senate majority.
His newly unveiled marketing campaign web site featured a video that highlighted his sports activities achievements however included little on coverage views aside from saying, “I consider in smaller authorities, a robust army, private accountability and ensuring all individuals have a possibility to pursue their goals.” He formally filed paperwork to run on Tuesday.
The web site additionally included a photograph of Walker on a stage with Trump, who in latest months has urged him to run. Walker within the Eighties performed for an expert soccer group owned by Trump.
Walker in December backed Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud and urged Georgia’s election officers to keep away from certifying Biden’s victory within the state.
Walker, 59, on Wednesday launched a press release to native media saying that his private successes – rising from “a poor child” to be a enterprise proprietor and winner of the 1982 Heisman Trophy whereas on the College of Georgia signifying the nation’s excellent collegiate soccer participant – had been examples of an upward mobility in America that he mentioned was slipping away.
Trump’s backing could deter different Republicans from searching for the nomination, however observers mentioned Walker might face an uphill battle in opposition to Warnock within the November 2022 basic election.
“I am undecided he’ll be the Republicans’ finest candidate to win in November,” mentioned College of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock. “If he’s only a soccer hero from 40 years in the past, for some a part of the citizens that might work properly however swing voters could not essentially suppose that makes you a great senator.”
Walker didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Democrats cheered his entry within the race, with a serious fundraising group for the celebration, the American Bridge twenty first Century political committee, on Tuesday predicting a “full-bore nasty main” after one other Republican within the Senate race launched a video taunting Walker.
Trump, who has but to formally endorse Walker, has thrown his assist to greater than a dozen congressional candidates, together with a number of difficult Republican incumbents who joined Democrats in an impeachment vote on a cost that Trump incited rebellion within the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot by his supporters.
The previous president has a blended observe document of late in endorsements. A coal lobbyist backed by Trump this month gained a crowded main in an Ohio contest for a U.S. Home of Representatives seat, every week after his most popular candidate for a Texas seat within the Home misplaced to a different Republican.
Reporting by Jason Lange; Modifying by Scott Malone and Will Dunham
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