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The United States Senate primary for the state of Georgia is still more about ten months away. Incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock will not be facing any real primary challenge but on the Republican side things could get interesting. Kelvin King is a long-time party activist and his wife Janelle is a former Deputy State Director for the Georgia Republican Party. But the current heavy hitter in the race is Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.

Having won statewide office before, Black comes in with something of a logistical advantage. He also comes into the race with high popularity, though this may be because, as Ag Commissioner, Black has been able to sidestep some of the thorniest issues over the past few years. Of course Black has been involved with statewide campaigns and was an active campaigner for President Donald Trump last year but those issues that cause a fuss coming out of the state legislature, Black is generally able to steer clear of. As a possible Senator, he still might be able to sidestep.

Gary Black

Long rumored to be a candidate in the race – and with the explicit backing of former President Trump – is Herschel Walker. Walker keeps dropping a few hints about getting into the race but still has several months before needing to actually pull the trigger to appear on a primary ballot. His Texas address is generally well-known but he would immediately be the most famous person in the race, even against the previous statewide winner Black.

Black has started to do some gentle pushing back on the idea of Walker as a candidate, pointing out his Texas residency and his posing in front of a car with Georgia plates, despite it being a borrowed car.

“If my old classmate from UGA wants to join the conversation here in Georgia, I welcome hearing his ideas,” Gary said. “But it takes more than pretending to change your car tags. Move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections, and learn what Georgians have on their minds. These are challenging times and the Regressives in Washington are working to change the character of our state and our country in profound and disturbing ways. We all need to make a goal line stand against their agenda.”

Black is also discussing one of the top issues for Republican primary voters, crime. He spoke to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Summer Conference on Tuesday and laid out his priorities for helping law enforcement fight crime. Black – using a theme that will be pounded by Republicans next year – talked about the defund the police movement.

“Some politicians put elections above public safety and our police and sheriff personnel are caught in a literal crossfire. Crime ravages families – disproportionately minority and poor families. My wife, my daughter who is a wife and mom now too, they deserve to feel safe at home and in their community. All our citizens do. And law enforcement families deserve to have their heroes come home safe after every shift.”

Whether it is Black or King or even Walker, that is likely the most common message Warnock will be facing next year.


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