Trump-Backed Herschel Walker, Who Questioned Evolution, Wins in Georgia

Former football star Herschel Walker, who earned Donald Trump's endorsement, won his Senate primary race in Georgia, beating out five other Republican candidates to face off against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in November.

On Tuesday, the race was called for Walker after he secured more than 70 percent of the vote at the time the race was called by the Associated Press.

Walker, who was caught lying about graduating from college and refused to debate any of his opponents during his campaign, was one of the more controversial candidates Trump endorsed this midterm season. Among some of his more contentious comments was a statement dismissing evolution.

"At one time, science said man came from apes, did it not?" Herschel said at a March appearance at a church in Sugar Hill, Georgia. "If that is true, why are there still apes? Think about it."

Herschel's remarks are in line with the 40 percent of Americans who said they believe they were created by God in human form, according to a 2019 Gallup poll. Most scientists accept the theory of evolution.

Herschel Walker Trump Georgia
Senate candidate Herschel Walker won Georgia's GOP primary on Tuesday. Above, Walker speaks at a rally featuring Donald Trump in Perry, Georgia, on September 25, 2021. Getty Images/Sean Rayford

Also, Walker's campaign website said in a now-deleted reference that he "graduated from [the University of Georgia] with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice." But he left UGA during his junior year to play with the United States Football League.

"After playing with the New Jersey Generals, I returned to Athens to complete my degree, but life and football got in the way," the GOP nominee said in a statement acknowledging the false claim to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Since his bid for Senate, accusations of threatening behavior previously reported to police by a number of women, including his ex-wife, have emerged. Walker has denied those charges.

Walker will try to unseat Warnock in November's general election. Both candidates are Black, and it's highly expected that race will play a major role in the race.

Warnock is a longtime civil rights champion and a senior pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s former church. Walker, on the other hand, appears to have more complicated views on race. Last fall, he told his predominately white supporters at a Trump rally, "Don't let the left try to fool you with this racism thing, that this country is racist."

Walker, who called Trump a "good man" during his 2016 presidential bid, has defended the former president on race. During last year's Republican National Convention, he said: "Growing up in Deep South, I've seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn't Donald Trump."

Last year, the former Dallas Cowboys star testified to Congress that he doesn't believe in reparations, noting, "We use Black power to create white guilt."

His stances have been commended by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Walker is "a quick study and very good at bridging the divisions down there that have been on full display for the last couple of years. Which I think is really important going into the general [election]."

Warnock, the first Black senator from Georgia, has been outspoken on racial issues, especially voting rights in his home state. Last year, he tweeted that "voter suppression bills" introduced in state legislatures were "unlike anything we have seen since the Jim Crow era."