Former N.C. congressman Mark Walker and his wife have released a new video explaining why they’re waiting to decide between running for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House in 2022.
“During the holidays, we will review all the options for both the Senate and House and seek the most effective path that allows us to continue our service to the people of North Carolina,” said Walker, while sitting beside wife Kelly in front of a Christmas tree and stocking, in the nearly three-minute video posted on social media.
Walker has been running for the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate race. He has trailed former Gov. Pat McCrory and current 13th District U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in polling and fundraising.
Carolina Journal has reported that Walker has been urged to drop his Senate bid and run instead for the U.S. House, where he served from 2015 to 2020. Among those interested in Walker making the switch to a House campaign is former President Donald Trump. He’s endorsed Budd in the Senate primary.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been asked on more than a few occasions if I would consider running for the U.S. House in the newly drawn congressional seat where I’ve been blessed to represent more than 70% of the constituents in Congress,” Walker said in the video.
He’s referring to North Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District, which has no incumbent.
“We’ve also received some encouragement,” Walker said. “Strong encouragement,” Kelly chimed in, before Walker referenced “promises of endorsements and support.”
“This is a big decision and an important one,” Kelly said. “Like many of you, I don’t care whether it’s senator or congressman. I just believe we need his voice back in Washington.”
Walker decided not to run for re-election in 2020. After Democrats challenged election maps in state courts, a new congressional map for that single election cycle made his old 6th Congressional District much more favorable to a Democratic candidate.
“We don’t own these seats — we understand that,” Walker said. “Nor do I have a special pathway to Congress. The people of North Carolina get to make this decision.”
The N.C. Supreme Court’s recent decision in redistricting lawsuits has affected Walker’s decision about 2022.
“This past week, the courts have pushed back the primaries for another couple of months,” he said. “These new congressional districts are being reviewed to see if they will even be upheld. So we’re watching together to see what happens.”
“We know the odds,” Walker added. “This Senate race is a narrow path without all the millions of dollars that are needed. On paper, it makes more sense for us to re-engage in the U.S. House and continue this fight.”
But Walker, a minister, cited the Bible’s advice “not to be anxious for anything” but to rely on prayer. “That’s where we are.”