Herschel Walker registers to vote in Georgia as he weighs US Senate run

Greg Bluestein
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Herschel Walker has apparently moved back to Georgia in what could be a prelude to a run for the U.S. Senate.

The former University of Georgia football star registered to vote in Georgia on Aug. 17 after decades of living in Texas, state records show. He listed his residence as the Buckhead home owned by his wife, Julie Blanchard, one of multiple properties he maintains in the state.

Then President Donald Trump, left, and his daughter Ivanka Trump, right, watch as former football player Herschel Walker, center, throws a football May 29, 2018, during White House Sports and Fitness Day on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Walker has for months said he was considering running as a Republican to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, and the move comes as the highest-profile GOP candidate in the race has leveled criticism at Walker’s out-of-state address.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who launched his campaign in June, recently mocked Walker for “pretending to change your car tags” and called on him to get off the sidelines and set stakes in Georgia if he was going to run.

“Move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections and learn what Georgians have on their minds,” said Black, one of three GOP candidates in the race. The other two are military veterans Kelvin King and Latham Saddler.

Walker’s supporters hope that his high name recognition, combined with a likely endorsement from former President Donald Trump, establish him as the clear front-runner in the race to unseat Warnock if he enters the contest. Several public and internal polls of the race show Walker with an early advantage.

But some senior Republicans have voiced concern that Walker’s past could dog his potential candidacy, including his history of violent behavior, struggles with mental illness and an ongoing state investigation into whether Blanchard cast an illegal ballot in Georgia while living in Texas. She has said she did nothing wrong.

The U.S. Constitution has few restrictions on potential U.S. Senate candidates. It requires only that a senator be 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for nine years and an “inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen” when elected.