Gary Black

Gary Black

ATLANTA — Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is telling University of Georgia football icon Herschel Walker to put up or shut up in next year’s Republican race for the U.S. Senate.

Walker, former President Donald Trump’s pick to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, has been hinting he may run for the seat but hasn’t made a firm decision.

Black, who is already in the race, has released a TV ad contrasting his Georgia background with the fact that Walker now lives in Texas.

The ad starts with a video showing Walker in front of a car with a Georgia license plate, saying he’s ready to “run with the Big Dogs.” The spot then cuts to Black standing beside and then getting into a tractor.

“For fun, my ride’s a tractor, and I’ve had Georgia plates all my life,” Black said.

While some potential Republican Senate candidates are on the sidelines waiting to see whether Walker will run, Black and two others haven’t hesitated to get into the contest.

Latham Saddler, an Atlanta banking executive and former Navy SEAL officer, and Kelvin King, a small business owner and Air Force veteran from Atlanta, have joined Black in declaring their candidacy for the GOP Senate nomination.

Black and Walker attended the University of Georgia together during Walker’s freshman season.

“If my old classmate from UGA wants to join the conversation here in Georgia, I welcome hearing his ideas,” Black 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.”

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