Mark Walker mulling 2022 Senate bid, won't seek reelection in the House

Mark Walker mulling 2022 Senate bid, won't seek reelection in the House
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTop GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat House passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum NCAA and its allies spent 0K on lobbying last year amid push for athlete pay MORE (R-N.C.) is forgoing another term in the House after his North Carolina district was redrawn to favor Democrats, instead opting to hold out for a potential Senate bid in 2022, he announced on Monday.  

Walker, who served as a Baptist minister before being elected to the lower chamber in 2014, previously considered a primary bid against Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada Top GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate MORE (R-N.C.) before ultimately deciding against the move. He held the position of chairman of the Republican Study Committee during the 115th Congress and rose to become a member of leadership during the 116th Congress, serving as the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference. 

“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,” he said in a statement.  

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Walker, a Trump ally, currently holds the position of co-chairman for the president's North Carolina reelection efforts, which he says will be a top focus for him as the election approaches.

“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 TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat MORE’s support,” he continued in his statement. “For 2020, our focus will be on helping our candidates for President, Senate, and Governor be successful.” 

Walker noted the president has voiced willingness to support him in a bid for higher office in the future after Trump ultimately decided to stick with supporting Tillis during the 2020 cycle. 

“If I can quote this verbatim, I asked, ‘Mr. President, if we run for another position would you support us?’” Walker told McClatchy, which first reported the news of his decision. Trump responded by saying, “Anything,” according to Walker. 

Walker told the publication he did not request Trump opt to back him in a primary over Tillis. 

North Carolina’s redistricting provided Democrats with a strong advantage in two congressional districts currently held by Republicans: the 6th Congressional District, held by Walker, and the 2nd Congressional District, held by Rep. George HoldingGeorge Edward Bell HoldingGOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts House GOP vows to use impeachment to cut into Democratic majority Mark Walker mulling 2022 Senate bid, won't seek reelection in the House MORE (R-N.C.), who also recently announced he would not seek reelection in the House next year.