Former University of Georgia and NFL star Herschel Walker won the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate from Georgia in Tuesday's primary.
At his victory celebration, an emotional Walker, 60, first asked for prayers for the people of Texas before thanking the people of Georgia and the Lord.
Herschel Walker Puts Jesus First
"First, I'd like to acknowledge my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who inspired me to go on this journey. He's my GM, my coach, and my quarterback, and He's been with me every step of the way," Walker said.
"And thank Georgia... And God is good, isn't He?" Walker told a room of cheering supporters.
Walker, a political newcomer who is backed by former President Donald Trump, defeated five GOP challengers in his race, clearing the 50% mark needed to avoid a runoff.
In his acceptance speech, Walker painted a grim picture of a country beset by inflation and crime — and held incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and the "radical left" responsible. He said Democrats had put "maniacs" in charge, and the election was about saving the country from a group that "don't even like you."
"They don't even like this country," he said. "It's time for us to wake up from this nightmare, time for us to get up, get back on track."
Walker dominated his Republican challengers. Party leaders had first shied away from him because of his checkered past. But eventually, even Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ended up embracing Walker as the party's best chance to oust Warnock.
Warnock Campaign Manager Quentin Fulks responded by saying Walker had shown he was not ready to be a U.S. senator.
"In a short time, Reverend Raphael Warnock has built a clear, extensive record of fighting for all Georgians in the U.S. Senate," Fulks said in a statement. "He presents a clear choice for voters this fall and a distinct contrast with Republican nominee Herschel Walker, whose pattern of lies, exaggerations, and outright bizarre claims reveal he is not up for the job of serving Georgians in the U.S. Senate."
Trump spoke by phone at Tuesday's rally celebrating Walker's victory, saying he was proud of Walker. "There's nobody like this man," he said. "He's a winner and he's a champion, and we all love him."
CBN News Political Analyst David Brody thinks the U.S. Senate race between Walker and Warnock is a toss-up.
"Very interesting, right? Two black candidates, a Republican, a Democrat running against each other in the fall," Brody told Gordon Robertson on Wednesday's The 700 Club. "There will be some baggage that Herschel Walker has from the past as it relates to a domestic violence incident to some mental instability, his critics will say. And so, that will come back for sure."
"But I think overall this (race) is a toss-up. And definitely, a race that Republicans can win," Brody said.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wins in Arkansas
And in Arkansas, former Trump White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won the Republican nomination to run for governor.
Sanders won the GOP primary for the office her dad, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, held for a decade after a race where she shattered fundraising records. Sanders bombarded the state's airwaves with TV ads invoking Trump and going after his favorite targets, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Sanders headed into the primary virtually assured of the nomination, and she remains a heavy favorite in the general election in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat governor since 2010. Nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary.
During her victory speech Tuesday, Sanders didn't mention Trump or Biden and invoked the fatal shooting of at least 19 children at a Texas elementary school as a "stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is."
"Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us should be those that we are fighting for and protecting the most," Sanders said. "I can assure you that in my administration, that's exactly what we will do. We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they're as safe as they are in the classroom, the workplace, the nursing home because every stage of life has value."
As Trump's spokesperson, Sanders was one of his closest White House aides and was the face of an administration for nearly two years.
Sanders joked Tuesday night about her shift from press secretary to nominee.
"When I worked at the White House, nobody ever cheered when I went up to the podium," she said. "This is different, but I like it a whole lot better."
"As White House press secretary, I never had to worry about the far left and their allies at CNN or the New York Times defining me," Sanders says in one TV spot. "Because I have a Creator who's already done that."