Walker, who eyed US Senate run, won't seek office in 2020

Posted December 16, 2019 7:54 p.m. EST
Updated December 16, 2019 8:05 p.m. EST

— Congressman Mark Walker won't run for elected office next year, sitting out a cycle and simplifying North Carolina's U.S. Senate race.

Walker, a Republican whose 6th Congressional District was redrawn out from under him last month thanks to a gerrymandering lawsuit, considered challenging another incumbent member of the U.S. House or U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in the Republican primary.

But after weeks of speculation, Walker said Monday night that he'll "dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress," then turn to 2022, when U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has already said he won't seek re-election.

“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator," Walker said in an emailed statement.

Walker also appeared on Spectrum's Capital Tonight program Monday, saying he met late last week with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the president's chief of staff. He said Trump, who has already endorsed Tillis' re-election bid, agreed to endorse Walker's 2022 Senate run.

Walker said that's probably "a little premature," though.

Walker said Trump also would have endorsed him in a run for lieutenant governor, a position open this year because Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is running for governor. Walker said he thought it would be disingenuous, though, to run for lieutenant governor this year, then turn around and run for U.S. Senate.

"It's best to stay on the same path that we're on," Walker said on Capital Tonight.

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