‘I’m ready’: In North Georgia, Herschel Walker sounds eager for general election

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

ELLIJAY — It was a sunny spring afternoon as Herschel Walker walked to the microphone on the picturesque veranda of a North Georgia winery. His striped shirt was untucked and his cuffs unbuttoned.

“I’m not a politician. I don’t dress like one. I don’t look like one because I’m not one,” he told a crowd of several hundred people.

Still, on May 24, Walker will face his first test as a candidate in Georgia’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He is the prohibitive favorite in the race. Polls show him winning the six-person race with a margin large enough to avoid a runoff. And Walker sounded eager on Saturday to get to the main event — the general election, where he would face off against U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.

“I’m on a journey,” he said. “And the thing about it is I’m ready.”

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Republican Senate canididate Herschel Walker, signs an autograph for Cole Farist after Walker spoke to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Credit: Mike Stewart

Republican Senate canididate Herschel Walker, signs an autograph for Cole Farist after Walker spoke to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Credit: Mike Stewart

caption arrowCaption
Republican Senate canididate Herschel Walker, signs an autograph for Cole Farist after Walker spoke to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Credit: Mike Stewart

Credit: Mike Stewart

Walker outlined his life story, from an overweight kid with a stutter in Wrightsville to football star and now U.S. Senate candidate. He tossed in a few jokes and made frequent references to his faith.

“I’ve got no dog in this fight except the Lord Jesus Christ,” said the former Georgia Bulldog.

Walker rattled off a familiar list of GOP issues — support for the military and law enforcement as well as a strong economy and limited regulations. But he provided no specifics on what he would do if elected.

ExploreAJC poll: Herschel Walker dominates the Georgia GOP Senate race

Walker’s celebrity was on full display. About one-third of the audience members were wearing University of Georgia logos. Kids had Walker sign Nerf footballs. And people waited patiently in a long line to get a photo with Walker.

“I didn’t know what to expect to be honest with you,” said Shawn Scott, of Ellijay. “But he’s amazing. “He’s just what we need right now.”

Michael MacMartia said Walker had secured his vote.

“He was a lot more informed than his ads would let you know,” the Jasper resident said. ”I was impressed.”