Trump-backed Herschel Walker to face Sen. Rafael Warnock in Georgia Senate race

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ATLANTA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock will face Republican football legend Herschelle Walker for a coveted Senate seat in Georgia, as both beat primary challengers on Tuesday in a historic, high-stakes showdown.

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Walker, backed by former President Donald Trump, beat five GOP challengers in his race, clearing the 50% mark needed to avoid a runoff. Warnock easily beat Tamara Johnson-Shealy, a beauty industry professional.

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The general election matchup between Warnock and Walker marks the first time that the two leading party candidates for the US Senate in Georgia are Black.

The competition is expected to heat up as the GOP tries to take back Warnock, the seat he won last year, helping Democrats gain a congressional majority. Republicans seeking to seize control of the Senate have targeted the Georgia race.

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Walker is a former college football personality who has a huge name.
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Warnock is pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. He became the first black senator elected from Georgia when he defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, appointed in the weeks of 2021, when Democrats won the state’s presidential election for the first time since 1992.

As a senator, Warnock has ridiculed Republicans’ push for tighter voting rules, calling him “Jim Crow in the new clothes”. Emphasized its work in bringing domestic funding to health care, national security research and other projects; and highlighted his efforts to reduce the cost of insulin and temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax.

Walker – a political newcomer – has almost unmatched name recognition from his days as college football in Georgia. He led the University of Georgia football team to the national title during the 1980 season and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. He counts Trump as a close friend.

Trump support was the main reason Pam Leonard said she voted for Walker. But the 71-year-old said outside a polling place in Woodstock on Tuesday that she also remembers those football days.

“I know his story,” said Leonard. “Especially when he was a kid, he was bullied and he strengthened himself by running against trains. It smells so bad.”

But some of his Republican opponents had questioned Walker’s electability. Walker has a history of violence against women and has made several mistakes during the campaign. He too skipped primary debate, He is open about his long struggle with mental illness and admits to the violent urges.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black launched the fastest attack on Walker He could not win in November because of allegations of domestic violence and other past problems. Former Trump administration official and Navy veteran Latham Sadler has questioned Walker’s preparation for a possible debate with Warnock.

The other GOP primary candidates were: retired Brigadier General John McCollum; Contractor and Air Force veteran Calvin King and former State Representative Josh Clark.

David Butler did not vote for Walker.

“I think he’s probably going to get the nomination, but I don’t think he deserves it,” Butler said before the race. “I think he’s getting it because of his name, because he played football in Georgia.”

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