Congressman Drops Out Of Gubernatorial Bid To Run For Congress

Former GOP Congressman from North Carolina, Mark Walker, is stepping down from the state’s gubernatorial contest and is shifting his sights to North Carolina’s 6th Congressional district.
“While our ambitions were initially set on the gubernatorial role, we recognize that our expertise, background, and experiences align more with serving in the U.S. Congress,” shared Walker in a conversation with Fox News Digital. He takes pride in being “the top conservative ever elected to a leadership position in Congress.”

Walker faced competition from the current North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Mark Robinson. Robinson, who enjoys the endorsement of ex-President Trump, is viewed as a leading contender in the race.

Despite this, Walker has reservations about Robinson’s potential appeal across the state, pointing to Robinson’s remarks on women and the LGBT community. “It’s not genuine to overlook such remarks. They raise concerns,” Walker expressed, emphasizing the pitfalls of alienating specific groups in politics and leadership roles.

Although he has yet to declare his endorsement, Walker assures it will be a candidate who embodies “integrity and depth.”

“We’re carefully weighing our options, striving to find the ideal candidate who ensures we don’t concede to Josh Stein,” he added.

Walker’s background spans a journey from a pastor in Greensboro and a business consulting entrepreneur to ascending Congressional ranks from 2014 to 2021. He held significant positions like heading the Republican Study Committee and serving as the vice-chair for the House Republican Conference.

He was once seen as a likely successor to Speaker Paul Ryan. Walker’s political trajectory hit when redistricting removed his GOP-majority House seat in 2020. Later, he secured a third-place finish in the 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary, losing to Senator Ted Budd.

“At 54, I’m a decade older than when I first vied for Congress,” Walker reflected. “But this added decade brings maturity and insight critical for leadership roles.” Walker now focuses on unseating the current Democrat, Kathy Manning, in a district encompassing Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

“My service to North Carolina spans over two and a half decades, with most of it in pastoral roles,” Walker said. In 2022, Manning clinched the district with a 54% majority against GOP contender Christian Castelli. However, with unveiling of the latest state maps, Manning, alongside Representatives Jeff Jackson and Wiley Nickel, could face challenging reelection campaigns.
In her October 19 statement, Manning criticized the new maps, saying, “These maps were solely designed to bolster Republican seats and solidify their hold on the U.S. House of Representatives. They do not represent North Carolinians’ best interests but seem like a gift to the national GOP.”

North Carolina’s primary is slated for March 5, 2024, with the general elections following on November 5, 2024.