Herschel Walker on Wednesday confirmed that he is running for a Georgia Senate seat as a Republican.
"Our country is at a crossroads, and I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore," Walker said in announcing his candidacy, the prospects of which have triggered anxiety among Democrat Party elites in Georgia and Washington, D.C., according to political observers.
Walker has "a genuine concern for the country, he loves Georgia. Certainly he has a longstanding relationship with President Trump,” said Randy Evans, a former ambassador in the Trump administration and longtime Georgia Republican operative.
The combination, he said, is a “formidable package.”
What Walker also has is the enthusiastic support of former President Donald Trump.
A Trump aide said Walker is "a star, great friend of 45, and perfect candidate."
Walker’s friendship with Trump goes back four decades. He played for three seasons as the marquee player with a USFL team owned by Trump and would later become a contestant on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice television show.
Walker was seated next to the former president at his birthday celebration in June, according to an Instagram video from the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.
In a statement, Trump Jr. praised Walker as the best possible candidate in the Senate race: “Not only is Herschel Walker a long-time family friend, he’s a strong America First conservative and would immediately enter the Senate race as the frontrunner if he decides to pull the trigger on it.”
In a announcing his candidacy, Walker said: "America is the greatest country in the world, but too many politicians in Washington are afraid to say that. Where else could a poor kid from a small town in Georgia become valedictorian of his high school, earn the Heisman Trophy, play professional football, represent the United States in the Olympics, and become CEO of multiple companies? I have lived the American Dream, but I am concerned it is slipping away for many people."
Walker is hoping to run against incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock. First, he would have to beat out a host of other GOP contenders in the primary, including former Navy Seal and Trump White House Intelligence Director Latham Saddler, who has reportedly out-fundraised every other Republican senate candidate so far.