Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich threw his support behind Herschel Walker in the GOP primary to take on Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in Georgia next year, becoming the latest conservative heavyweight to back the former football star.
“I am proudly endorsing Herschel Walker to be the next United States Senator from the great state of Georgia,” Gingrich, who represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the House for 20 years, said in a statement.
“We need more people like Herschel in Washington – hardworking, genuinely good people with a proven track record of success. Herschel is a legend in my home state of Georgia, and it’s not just because of his tremendous success on the football field. He is a businessman, a philanthropist, a community leader, and will make Georgia proud as our next United States Senator.”
Since announcing his Senate campaign in August, Walker has quickly emerged as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Former President Trump urged him for months to get into the race, and top Republicans in Washington, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), have endorsed him.
Walker is up against three other Republicans in the 2022 primary, including state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
The Senate race in Georgia is among the closest-watched of the 2022 midterm elections, seen as crucial to the GOP’s efforts to recapture control of the upper chamber.
Democrats gained control of both of the state’s Senate seats in January after Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) narrowly won a pair of runoff elections. Those victories came just two months after President Biden became the first Democratic White House hopeful to carry the state in nearly three decades.
While Ossoff won’t face reelection until 2026, Warnock is seen as perhaps the most vulnerable target for Senate Republicans next year.