Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) is expected to announce in early December that he will run for Senate in North Carolina, according to a report from the Hill.
The Hill also noted that Walker, a member of House GOP leadership and a former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, may have an “official campaign rollout coming as soon as Dec. 1.” The seat Walker hopes to fill is currently held by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who announced in 2016 that he would not seek another six-year term.
Walker, also a former pastor, has supported President Donald Trump’s efforts and has received support from conservative groups like Club for Growth to run. The reports on a potential Senate run from Walker come just days after the New York Times reported that Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, was also considering running for the seat.
According to “one source close to Walker” who spoke to the Hill, a Lara Trump candidacy in the race does not impact his decision to run. The source said they “are not sure what Lara’s timeline is or what the Trump name will mean when that time comes.”
“It doesn’t change anything for Walker,” a source familiar with Walker’s plans told the Hill. “If anything, it brings stability to the race because you assume where the Trump endorsement is going — it means you’re not going to be surprised.”
A source added:
If anything, I think what this hurts most is the party loyalists in North Carolina, which was never clearly from redistricting Walker’s base of support, because the folks in Raleigh now and some of the party institutions will have to give a second thought to whether or not they want to be seen as opposing a Trump in a primary. So for Walker’s calculation, it doesn’t change anything. We see a path where he could help and the plan that he has crafted will certainly work around curveballs in the campaign.
The Hill also stated that another North Carolina Republican told the news site “that it could be a crowded field, with former Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) floated as other potential candidates for the race.”