Rep. Mark Walker Rules Out 2020 Bid, Eyes Senate Race in 2022

December 17, 2019 Updated: December 17, 2019
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One of two Republican representatives whose districts will vanish due to redistricting said he won’t run in 2020 in another district.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) joined Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) in announcing he won’t run in 2020.

“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States senator. As I have always sought to have serving people supersede our ambition, I will dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress,” Walker said in a statement.

After the state’s General Assembly approved the redrawn maps last month, Walker said he would run in 2020.

Walker, 50, a Baptist minister before being elected in 2014, is co-chairman of Trump’s campaign in North Carolina. He said he’ll focus his efforts on the 2020 election.

“After we have secured more conservative policy and Republican electoral victories for North Carolina, we will take a look at the 2022 Senate race and we are thankful to have President Trump’s support,” he said. “For 2020, our focus will be on helping our candidates for president, Senate, and governor be successful.”

Walker in 2022 could run for a Senate seat that will be vacant due to the retirement of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is running for reelection in 2020.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, arrives for a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 23, 2017. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
George Holding won't seek re-election
Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) (L) in a file photograph. (Rep. George Holding)

The redistricting likely prompted Walker to not run next year, UNC Greensboro political science professor Dr. Hunter Bacot told WFMY.

“It got redrawn such that it’s not favorable or conducive to him. What they did is they put most of the urban counties in their own congressional districts. That made Guilford its own congressional district so it was basically foresight.”

Holding, 51, said earlier this month that he won’t seek reelection, attributing his decision largely to the new Congressional Districts.

“I am also hopeful that, if it is part of the good lord’s plan, I will someday return to public office—that there will be other opportunities for me to fight for the ideals and conservative principles I believe in,” he said.

Holding, who said in his statement he was thankful for the chance to serve in Congress, ruled out running against an incumbent Republican in another district. Holding is also considered a possible challenger for the Senate seat Burr will leave vacant.

Walker is the 19th Republican member of the House to announce he’s retiring or otherwise leaving his or her seat. Six Democrats have announced retirements. Several are running for other offices such as governor or Senate seats, including Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.).

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