Former rep drops NC governor bid to run in new House district

Former Republican Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.) is ending his gubernatorial bid to run to represent North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District after new maps were approved for the state, according to reports.

The Carolina Journal first reported that Walker would ditch his run for governor to try for the House. He had launched a gubernatorial campaign in May.

Walker said in a statement shared to local outlet Fox8 WGHP that he has been “overwhelmed with the number of grassroots citizens and officials reaching out for us to consider taking the fight back to Congress” after the new congressional district maps were made public.

He warned of “a radical movement designed to steal the very soul of our nation” and said that’s why he’s announcing plans to return to the U.S. House, “placing the 6th District back to where it has historically been — represented by a conservative Republican.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Walker’s website and social media listed him as a candidate for Congress.

“Transparently, it would be disingenuous of me to act as if there were a clear path in the gubernatorial race. That door has not opened,” Walker said in his statement, per Fox8 WGHP.

The North Carolina Republican previously served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference and represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District for six years. Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning flipped the seat blue in 2020, when Walker decided not to run for reelection.

In 2022, Walker ran to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R), but he lost in the Republican primary.

Walker’s switch to run for the House comes just after North Carolina unveiled new congressional maps that could threaten some Democratic seats in the state. The plans were reportedly approved Wednesday.

Walker also said Wednesday that he was “elated” his friend, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), was voted to become the Speaker of the House after three weeks of uncertainty on Capitol Hill following the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

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