GOP Field Remains Frozen As Republicans Wait for Walker, Ralston Opts Out

July 22, 2021

Today, new reporting detailed Georgia Republicans’ concerns about their Senate primary as Herschel Walker’s potential entrance freezes the field, while Georgia House Speaker David Ralston officially opted out of the race to challenge Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.

Here’s the latest news from the GOP’s #GASEN primary chaos:

Republicans fret Trump ‘tension’ in Georgia endangers 2022 ticket

Washington Examiner, 7/22/21

  • As Trump ally Herschel Walker moves toward a Senate bid that would pair him with Gov. Brian Kemp, a foe of the former president, at the top of the ticket, Republicans worry that the party is on track to field a divided 2022 slate. Walker has publicly chastised Kemp over his handling of the 2020 election, echoing Trump’s complaints — criticism that the governor rejects. Those differences could make working together near impossible if both win their primaries.
  • “There’s going to be lots of tension on the ballot if Herschel runs,” added a Republican operative in Georgia, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about what has become a sensitive subject in GOP circles.
  • Trump has practically endorsed Walker, a move that has largely (although not entirely) frozen the field of possible Republican Senate candidates uninterested in running against the former president’s pick.
  • If Walker is their Senate nominee and Kemp is renominated in the June primary, as expected, Georgia Republicans fret that both campaigns could be undermined by a lack of mutual coordination and messaging that looks backward to the last election, rather than forward to the next.
  • “Certainly, if Herschel Walker runs, it does make things a little bit complicated,” said Chip Lake, a Republican strategist in Georgia who advised former Rep. Doug Collins in his Senate bid last year. “But we will do our best to navigate around it.”
  • Some Republicans are convinced there is no way that Kemp and Walker would be able to maintain good relations. Trump would likely travel to Georgia to headline rallies for Walker, during which they expect he would trash the governor. Both Kemp and Walker would be asked about this nonstop, creating frustration on both sides — but especially in the governor’s camp, if Walker said he agreed with the former president’s criticism of Kemp’s handling of the last election.

Click here to read more about the #GASEN chaos.

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