Former Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black Monday for the U.S. Senate.
“I’ve known Gary for over 20 years. We worked together for the entire time that I was governor,” said Deal, who served as Georgia’s chief executive from 2011 until the beginning of 2019. “He’s done a great job representing everyone in our state. That’s the kind of leadership we need in Washington.”
Black, elected agriculture commissioner in 2010, entered the race for the Republican nomination last month. The winner of next spring’s GOP primary will challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Several other Republicans with high name recognition are said to be thinking about running. However, they are waiting to see whether University of Georgia football icon Herschel Walker enters the contest.
Former President Donald Trump has been pushing for a Walker candidacy, but Walker has yet to make a decision.
Black, like Deal, hails from northeastern Georgia. He has a long background in farming, including a stint as president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council before running for agriculture commissioner.
Two lesser-known Republicans also have entered the Senate race: Latham Saddler, an Atlanta banking executive, and Kelvin King, a small business owner and Air Force veteran from Atlanta.
While U.S. senators normally serve six-year terms, Warnock is being forced to run for the seat next year even though he just won a runoff election in January. The Democrat is currently completing the unexpired term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who retired at the end of 2019 due to health issues.