Former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker, who announced his run for the open North Carolina Senate seat over a year ago, told the Associated Press (AP) on Thursday, Dec. 9 that he’s still in the race, for now.
According to the AP, Walker plans to release a video next week announcing his intention to take time over the holidays to consider his options and make a decision.
Walker met with former president Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last weekend and there was much speculation that after that meeting Walker would pull out of the US Senate race and announce he was running for Congress.
The newly drawn 7th Congressional District includes a portion of Guilford County and has no incumbent. The speculation was that Walker would drop out of the Senate race and announce he was running in the 7th Congressional District.
Walker is currently running against 13th District Congressman Ted Budd and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the Republican US Senate primary. Both Walker and Budd are from the conservative wing of the Republican Party while McCory is considered more moderate.
In June, Trump made the surprise announcement that he was endorsing Budd in the Republican primary and, according to the AP, during his meeting with Walker last weekend, Trump urged Walker to withdraw from the Senate race and run for Congress.
Walker declined to run for reelection for a fourth term in the 6th District in 2020 after redistricting that resulted in the 6th District having a decided Democrat majority.
On Dec. 1, 2020, less than a month after the 2020 election, Walker announced his intention to run for the Senate seat in 2022.
The recent ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court delaying the primary from March 8 to May 17 and suspending the filing period for an unknown period of time has provided Walker with more time to consider whether he will continue to run for the Senate or drop out of the Senate race and run for the House.