Where’s Walker? After Senate run, Herschel mostly out of sight (2024)

ATLANTA — Herschel Walker might be one of the most recognizable figures in Georgia. He also might be one of the least visible.

The former football star was a household name in Georgia long before he waged a failed bid for the U.S. Senate, and the more than $470 million that was spent during the 2022 campaign rendered him an unavoidable figure.

Now the once-ubiquitous candidate has all but disappeared from the public eye.

Walker has made only a handful of public appearances since his December runoff defeat to Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and the accounts of his chaotic campaign that followed.

He’s hardly posted on social media, and he’s shunned even the friendly conservative media outlets that once lionized his quest for office.

Even his former aides and confidantes say they haven’t kept in touch with the candidate who often talked about his staff and supporters as “family.”

“I’m short on details,” said Salleigh Grubbs, the Cobb County GOP chair who was a key Walker ally.

“I have not heard anything from him or his former campaign,” said Julianne Thompson, a onetime Walker consultant and influential activist.

“I have not spoken with Herschel recently but always wish him the best,” said Republican National Committeewoman Ginger Howard, who served as an important Walker surrogate.

A half-dozen ex-Walker aides told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they’ve lost touch with the candidate.

Walker and his wife, Julie Blanchard, didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.


Recruited to run for the Senate in 2021 at Donald Trump’s urging, Walker’s campaign lurched from one crisis to another amid revelations about his history of violent behavior and infidelity, a pattern of lies and exaggerations and a propensity for erratic statements.

Walker was the only statewide Republican candidate in Georgia to lose in last year’s midterm, a defeat enabled by hundreds of thousands of swing voters who cast ballots for other GOP contenders but withheld support for the former football star.

The most concrete hints of Walker’s post-election activity now can be found in public records and on his once-prolific social media account, where frequent posting has given way to occasional shout-outs to fellow athletes and the occasional conservative policy.

“What makes America different is our Constitution and the Bill of Rights within the Constitution,” Walker posted in late March after a mass shooting sparked new calls for gun control. “We must hold this true.”

Campaign finance records show that Walker has spent more than $1.5 million of what’s left in his campaign account to boost several of his favorite charities and political allies.

One of the largest was a $250,000 contribution to the Horatio Alger Association, which bestowed him with one of its awards last year. This year, the foundation listed Walker and his wife as “eagle flight” sponsors for their largesse.

His attendance at the Alger awards banquet earlier this year was one of his few public appearances since his defeat, and several attendees snapped selfies of the former candidate at the Washington ceremony.

Meanwhile, recent tax filings indicate that Walker no longer considers his suburban Dallas estate his primary residence — a source of contention during the campaign as voters questioned whether he lived in Texas while running for a Georgia office.

The documents now show he lists an Atlanta home owned by Blanchard as his primary residence and will no longer receive a homestead exemption for the Texas property. Officials say that paperwork was completed in late November, shortly before his runoff loss.

Even with the retreat from the spotlight, Walker’s sky-high name recognition and enviable fundraising ability could give him an opening to mount another bid in 2026, when Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff is on the ballot.

But he surely wouldn’t have the same glide path to the nomination he enjoyed last year, when many of the party’s most formidable candidates stepped aside. Gov. Brian Kemp, former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and ex-U.S. Rep. Doug Collins are among the potential GOP candidates in the next go-round.

Stephen Lawson ran the pro-Walker 34N22 super PAC that spent about $9 million promoting the Republican’s campaign, including gas and grocery giveaways intended to tie Warnock to rising inflation. He’s among many state Republicans who say others are ready to step up.

“I think it goes without saying that Georgia will always hold a special, special place for Herschel Walker. But in so many ways, the game in this state has changed,” Lawson said.

“It’s a battleground centered around a competition of ideas, of personal connection, and clearly articulating what you stand for and why,” Lawson said. “That’s the playbook for winning statewide — and I’m not sure it’s going to change anytime soon.”

Where’s Walker? After Senate run, Herschel mostly out of sight (2024)


What happened to Herschel Walker after the election? ›

After the race, Walker eventually reenrolled at the University of Georgia to finish his undergraduate degree — the same school where he won a Heisman Trophy as a junior decades ago. When reached by phone, Walker denied his seven-figure bank balance of unspent funds in his campaign account.

Why did Herschel Walker not win? ›

Democrats, as well as his Republican opponents in the earlier primary, hammered away at his documented past mental health issues, allegations of domestic violence (some of which Walker has acknowledged, pointing to his mental health as a factor in his actions), and claims – which Walker has denied – that he had urged ...

Did Herschel Walker run for the Senate? ›

Herschel Walker (Republican Party) ran for election to the U.S. Senate to represent Georgia.

Why is Herschel Walker not in the Hall of Fame? ›

Walker was a great athlete and put up great stats, but he only made two Pro Bowls throughout his NFL career. The most significant moment of Walker's career was a part of the trade that started the Cowboys dynasty. The other problem with Herschel Walker is that he spent the first three years of his career in the USFL.

Who is the former NFL player running for Senate? ›

Herschel Junior Walker (born March 3, 1962) is an American former football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 12 seasons. He was also the Republican nominee in the 2022 United States Senate election in Georgia. Augusta, Georgia, U.S.

Was Herschel Walker a running back? ›

Herschel Walker is best known for his football exploits. He starred as a running back at the University of Georgia, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. Walker would later be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Did Herschel Walker ever win a Super Bowl ring? ›

Herschel Walker's NFL career

He didn't win any major awards or a Super Bowl. But that shouldn't distract from the fact that the running back did have a solid career. He amassed over 8,000 rushing yards in his 13-year career and scored 61 touchdowns. He even recorded nearly 5,000 receiving yards.

Why did Cowboys trade Herschel Walker? ›

At the time of the deal, the Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league (the team finished the 1989 season with its worst post-merger record, 1–15), trading away their best player, while the Vikings believed that Walker was the missing piece they needed to make a Super Bowl run.

Why is Herschel Walker important? ›

In 1983, Walker gave up his final year of collegiate eligibility and turned professional, joining the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived United States Football League. Walker dominated the league, earning Most Valuable Player honors and setting the single-season pro football rushing record (2,411 yards).

Who is Herschel Walker's son? ›

Who is the senator for Atlanta GA? ›

Jon Ossoff, U.S. Senator for Georgia.

Is Herschel Walker in Hof? ›

Walker's 25,283 combined all-purpose yards would be greater than Jerry Rice's career record total (23,546) by nearly 2,000 yards. Walker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Who did not get in the NFL Hall of Fame? ›

NFL's top 20 players not in the Hall of Fame: Andre Johnson, Dwight Freeney headline all-time list
  • WR Hines Ward.
  • DE L.C. ...
  • OL Joe Jacoby. ...
  • Steve Smith Sr. ...
  • LB Tommy Nobis. ...
  • DE Jim Marshall. Teams: Browns (1960); Vikings (1961-79) ...
  • WR Otis Taylor. Team: Chiefs (1965-75) ...
  • WR Steve Tasker. Teams: Oilers (1985-86); Bills (1986-97) ...
Aug 4, 2023

Did Herschel Walker play for the New Jersey Generals? ›

After he left Georgia, Walker played three years in the U. S. Football League with the New Jersey Generals 1983-1985, and 12 years in the National Football League with Dallas, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and the New York Giants 1986-97.

When did Herschel Walker quit football? ›

The Cowboys traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in 1989, and he later played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. He returned to the Cowboys shortly before retiring in 1997.

Did Herschel Walker graduate from the University of Georgia? ›

The fact that he never earned a degree later became a campaign issue during his race for the Senate, in large part due to attempts by Walker and his campaign to claim that he had graduated.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Laurine Ryan

Last Updated:

Views: 5753

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Laurine Ryan

Birthday: 1994-12-23

Address: Suite 751 871 Lissette Throughway, West Kittie, NH 41603

Phone: +2366831109631

Job: Sales Producer

Hobby: Creative writing, Motor sports, Do it yourself, Skateboarding, Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Stand-up comedy

Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.