Two candidates have filed for the 6th District US House seat and both are Democrats.

Democratic Kathy Manning, who ran a well-funded campaign in 2018 in a failed attempt to unseat 13th District Congressman Ted Budd, has filed to run in the 6th District in 2020.

Former Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis, who ran and lost in the 13th District in 2016, has also filed.

No Republicans have filed, included 6th District Congressman Mark Walker who has held the seat since former 6th District Congressman Howard Coble retired in 2014.

It seems unlikely that Walker will file to run for reelection because the latest round of redistricting turned the 6th from a district that leaned Republican to one that is decidedly Democrat.

In 2017, Walker was elected chair of the powerful Republican Study Committee and appeared to be moving up the Republican House ranks.

But the new 6th District bears little similarity to the 6th Districts that Walker was elected from in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The new 6th was designed for a Democrat to win.

The state legislature with strong Republican majorities once again redrew the congressional districts, this time in advance of having them ruled unconstitutional by the state courts. It appears that the legislature figured it about right and gave up two Republican districts and created two Democratic districts. The courts didn’t actually approve the districts but said the election could go forward.

So why did the Republicans give up the 6th? Nobody will say this on the record, but a number of folks are willing to talk about it off the record. When Walker won in 2014, he first lost the Republican primary to Phil Berger Jr. Walker called for a runoff and in the runoff he trounced Phil Berger Jr. and then easily won the general election.

Phil Berger Jr. is the son of President Pro Tem state Sen. Phil Berger, often called the most powerful elected official in the state. So the Republicans in Raleigh had to sacrifice two of the 10 Republican members of Congress, and one Republican congressman had defeated the son of the most powerful politician in the state Senate. As they say, that’s politics.