And now there are three.

Saturday, May 20, former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker announced he is running for North Carolina governor in 2024.

Walker made the announcement at Triad Christian Academy in Kernersville.

Walker joins Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell as announced Republican candidates.

Gov. Roy Cooper is serving his second term and is not eligible to run for reelection.  On the Democratic side, it appears NC Attorney General Josh Stein is the heir apparent.  Cooper served as NC attorney general before defeating the incumbent Republican governor, Pat McCrory, in 2016.

Walker was elected 6th District Congressman in 2014 to replace Rep. Howard Coble, who, after 30 years in Congress, announced his retirement.  Walker, however, got a head start in the crowded Republican primary by launching his campaign before Coble announced he wouldn’t run for reelection.

Walker went on to win two reelections to the 6th District seat in 2016 and 2018.  The 2020 the redistricting turned the 6th District into a seat all but impossible for a Republican to win and Walker declined to run for reelection.

There was talk that Walker would run against Sen. Thom Tillis in 2020, but Walker decided not to run in that election. However, in December 2020 Walker announced he would run for the open Senate seat in 2022. In the May 2022 Republican primary, Walker finished a distant third to at the time 13th District Congressman and now Sen. Ted Budd and former NC Gov. McCrory.

In the Republican gubernatorial primary, Walker is up against Robinson, who won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor in 2020 against a crowded field and went on to the win the general election.  And Folwell, who has won two statewide elections for NC treasurer in 2016 and 2020.

Walker served as a pastor for 16 years until deciding in 2013 to jump into the political arena and he won his very first election in 2014.

Walker in his speech announcing his candidacy said that he had three primary goals.

The first was to “expand educational opportunities” in the state.  He said, “We’ve got to return power to the school boards and parents not DC or the Raleigh bureaucracies.

Second, he said, the state had to “secure economic freedom.”

And third, he said, was “to protect our children and our families.

Walker said, “I will be tireless in my fight against the intellectual pursuit of our elites promoting child mutilations through gender reassignment surgeries that are damaging our children and our future.”