With the recommendation that the 2022 primary be postponed several months, there is growing uncertainty about just how that election is going to be held.
However, what may be causing anxiety in other candidates is not having any effect on the campaign of former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker.
Walker announced he was running for the open North Carolina US Senate seat in 2022 on Dec. 1, 2020. At the time Walker still had to finish out his term in Congress. Walker chose not to run for reelection to a fourth term in Congress in 2020 after the 6th District was redrawn making it a heavily Democratic district and the current Democratic 6th District Congresswoman Kathy Manning easily won election to her first term in 2020.
Once Walker finished out his term in January, he started campaigning full time and says he plans to continue to campaign full time through November 2022. Of course, he has to make it through the Republican primary first, which will either be held in March 2022 or, if the recommendation of the North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell is followed, May 2022.
Walker said that all indications are it will be a crowded Republican primary whenever it is held, and when asked how many, he said, “My guess is five to seven.”
So far Walker is the only declared Republican candidate, but the list of those who might run is long and includes Lara Trump, 13th District Congressman Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory, state House Speaker Tim Moore and North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley. With Republican Sen. Richard Burr not running for reelection, the lure of the open seat and the fact that Republicans have won the last four Senate elections in North Carolina could attract even more candidates.
But Walker said regardless of who files or how many file, he is going to keep crisscrossing the state for at least the next year.
Walker said this week that he had been in Atlantic Beach speaking to a group and was headed for Asheville to speak to another.
He said, “I’m locked in full time. It’s full time, full blast.”
He said he was traveling around the state, “Listening to concerns of the people and what they want in a US senator.”
Walker said that one concern he keeps hearing is “the expanding ideology of socialism” and “the fact that the rights we have been enjoying for decades are being attacked.”
Walker said that 40 or 50 years of history has shown that socialism can’t compete with the free market system, which is why those in favor of big government controlling everything were attacking the free market.
Walker also said that one thing he was learning was just how long North Carolina is from east to west and he’s realizing that when you’re running a statewide campaign, it’s a big advantage to live in Greensboro in the middle of the state.