University of Arkansas football legend Herschel Walker is starting a political action committee in order to attack a Republican primary opponent in his bid for the US Senate.
Walker, who has received national media attention as he makes a bid for the Republican nomination, has announced that he and his newly created PAC, Pro-Herschel Walker PAC, have donated $50,000 to the political campaign of Little Rock businessman and political newcomer Casey James Warnock.
“Right now Casey James is ahead of my campaign because he was a little green,” Walker said. “I want to turn that around and make Casey James a little bit less green.”
Warnock’s campaign responded to Walker’s PAC by touting a “successful West Texas effort” against a “well-known opponent” in 2012, which ended with him winning the GOP primary over then-gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez.
In 2012, Warnock challenged US Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, in a Republican primary, but lost to the then-incumbent. Warnock’s campaign found support among people from the state’s West Texas swing areas, home to Republican-leaning counties in the Rio Grande Valley and the Big Bend region.
A non-profit that Walker launched to support his bid for a Senate seat is behind the PAC, with its operation run out of a now-famous 9-by-8-foot campaign billboard Walker erected last weekend in Fort Smith, Arkansas, that is allowing people to follow Walker’s bid for the US Senate.
“Let’s fight back to take back the Senate,” the billboard reads.
The PAC is being run out of Walker’s new non-profit, which he announced on Thursday. The non-profit, Pursuit of Dreams, announced plans on Friday to make at least $1 million in donations this year.
Walker, a Heisman trophy winner and US NFL Hall of Famer, ran a lower-profile campaign for governor of Texas in 2014.
He announced his Senate run in January, holding more than a dozen events in the South, where the conservative leaning primary electorate is most favorable to his candidacy. However, Walker has drawn criticism for airing TV commercials in which he said “we need to get back to basics” and is pledging to stick to “simple, direct, honest” political ads in his Senate bid.
His campaign is also expanding into television, with Walker taking part in his first political debate with Warnock on Sunday.
Walker’s supporters say his candidacy is a reflection of larger campaign concerns of voter frustration with the US government and deeply held conservative values. Walker has promised to “reject fear-mongering” on immigration and questioned the GOP’s use of a “meme” on healthcare policy.
“I come from a nation where we do things differently,” Walker told CNN in January, “and we did things differently back in the day, and we got away from that. The kind of campaign I’m running is the kind of campaign that we can grow up back in the country to win again.”