Midterm updates: Walker wins Georgia’s GOP Senate primary


By The Associated Press



Football great Herschel Walker, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won Georgia’s GOP Senate primary.

Walker defeated five fellow Republicans, including Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and former Trump administration official and Navy veteran Latham Saddler.

Walker is a political newcomer but has nearly unmatched name recognition in Georgia from his days as a college football running back. He led the University of Georgia football team to a national title during the 1980 season and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982.

Trump, a close friend of Walker’s, backed his run despite questions about Walker’s business dealings and history of violence against women. Walker has been open about his long struggle with mental illness and acknowledged violent urges.

He won the primary despite skipping debates with his Republican opponents and making some gaffes.

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Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and Minnesota are holding primary elections Tuesday.

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

— Trump’s bid to reshape GOP faces biggest hurdles in Georgia

— 2022 midterms: What to watch in Georgia, Texas, elsewhere

— Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger faces Trump ally

— Marjorie Taylor Greene’s divisive politics face test in GOP primary

— Unopposed Stacey Abrams still a target in Republican primary

— Ex-Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders bids for Arkansas governor

Follow all AP stories on the midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock won Georgia’s Democratic primary as he seeks to hold on to his Senate seat in the upcoming midterm elections.

Warnock defeated beauty industry professional Tamara Johnson-Shealey.

The junior senator and pastor is seeking a full, six-year term in the Senate after winning a special election in 2021 for the final two years of former Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term. Republicans believe Warnock is vulnerable and are targeting his seat in their efforts to regain a Senate majority.

Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. On Capitol Hill, he has attacked Republicans’ push for tighter voting rules as “Jim Crow in new clothes.”

In Georgia, he has stressed his work in bringing home funding for health care, national security research and other projects. He has also highlighted his efforts to try to cap the cost of insulin and temporarily suspend the federal gas tax.

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ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams has won the Democratic nomination for Georgia governor after narrowly losing the 2018 race to current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

Abrams became a star in the Democratic Party after her first gubernatorial election and ran unopposed in this year’s primary. She has become a leading advocate for voting rights and is credited with laying the organizational groundwork for Joe Biden to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in 28 years.

Abrams is likely to face either Kemp or former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in a November contest that is gearing up to be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched.

The centerpiece of Abrams’ platform is a call to expand Medicaid to all adults. But she is also highlighting her support for abortion rights and opposition to state laws abolishing the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Abrams has showed the ability to raise millions, but Republicans have raised the specter of her becoming governor to try to unify a party fractured by former President Donald Trump’s attempts to unseat Kemp.

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ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, says she expects the personal attacks to continue as she moves toward the general election in November.

Abrams was asked at a news conference Tuesday in Atlanta about a comment the day before from Republican rival David Perdue, who said Abrams had been “demeaning her own race” with remarks she had made. She turned the conversation back to Perdue’s opponent, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who is leading in polls and fundraising.

“I had an inelegant delivery of a statement that I will keep making — that is Brian Kemp is a failed governor who doesn’t care about the people of Georgia,” Abrams said.

On the eve of Tuesday’s primary, Perdue took a shot at Abrams’ remarks Saturday at a Democratic dinner. She had said, “I am tired of hearing about being the the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live,” and went on to explain that when Georgia has dismal rankings for mental health access and maternal mortality, “then you’re not the No. 1 place to live.”

“She is demeaning her own race when it comes to that,” Perdue said Monday in an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro.

Abrams said she expects Republicans to continue to attack her personally.

“I have listened to Republicans for the last six months attack me, but they’ve done nothing to attack the challenges facing Georgia,” Abrams said.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday’s primary runoff election in Texas will test how much weight the Bush family name still carries in America’s biggest red state in the race for attorney general.

But George P. Bush, who’s challenging embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton for the Republican nomination, says Tuesday’s vote isn’t about family dynasty.

Speaking in Austin after casting his ballot, Bush says the election is “about doing the right thing and supporting the right people for the right offices.”

Paxton is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation over accusations of corruption, and he’s still awaiting trial on securities fraud charges after being indicted in 2015.

Bush, who now serves as Texas’ land commissioner, called Paxton “a crook … who continually abuses his office.”

Bush forced a runoff against Paxton during a crowded four-way primary election in March. But he still trailed Paxton by 20 points in the March election, underscoring Paxton’s continued political durability in Texas.

By The Associated Press