Trump says Herschel Walker will enter Georgia Senate race

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE said Tuesday that former NFL player Herschel Walker told him he plans to make a run for the Senate next year.

"He told me he’s going to, and I think he will," Trump said on the "Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show" while discussing Walker running for a Georgia Senate seat. 

"I had dinner with him a week ago. He’s a great guy. He’s a patriot. He’s a very loyal person," Trump added.

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Trump first encouraged Walker months ago to mount a challenge to Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Polls open in California as Newsom fights for job Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (D-Ga.) in 2022. Walker has entertained the idea but has yet to announce a firm decision on a Senate campaign. 

If he ultimately jumps into the race, Walker would enter the Republican primary as the presumed front-runner given his broad name recognition and likely endorsement from Trump, who remains deeply influential among GOP voters nationwide. 

Three other Georgia Republicans have already announced plans to take on Warnock next year, including state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and two military veterans, Latham Saddler and Kelvin King. Rep. Buddy CarterEarl (Buddy) Leroy CarterTrump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race Herschel Walker files paperwork to run for Senate in Georgia MORE (R-Ga.) has also said that he will run for Senate but only if Walker decides not to.

Former Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE (R-Ga.), who lost to Warnock in a runoff election earlier this year, is also said to be eyeing a possible rematch against the Georgia Democrat. 

The Senate race in Georgia is expected to be among the most competitive of the 2022 midterm cycle. Warnock and Sen. Jon OssoffJon OssoffStacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race Herschel Walker files paperwork to run for Senate in Georgia MORE (D-Ga.) narrowly won a pair of runoff elections in January, and President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE carried the state in November. But Georgia remains a tough battleground, and Republicans are eager to take back at least one of the state’s two Senate seats.