Former Republican Rep. Mark Walker (NC) chastised Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) after Burr voted to convict former President Donald Trump on Saturday in the Senate impeachment trial.
“Wrong vote, Sen. Burr. I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator,” Walker tweeted, along with a campaign ad.
Burr was one of seven Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump.
Burr has previously said he would not run again in 2022, and as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, he had done little to push back against allegations of Russian collusion against Trump.
Still, his vote to convict Trump was a shock to many.
Burr voted guilty. Wow.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 13, 2021
Walker’s tweet signals how unpopular Burr’s vote will be in North Carolina, and the ad also signals how popular Trump is with the Republican base.
In the ad, Walker talks about “taking on the swamp” as a conservative warrior in Washington. The ad also features many conservative figures who supported Trump.
Wrong vote, Sen. Burr. I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator. Join me → https://t.co/R4vNpN0Njx pic.twitter.com/rw3nMSleIY
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) February 13, 2021
Walker was a pastor for 16 years before running for Congress in 2014. The Republican primary in 2022 is March 9, 2022.
According to local North Carolina newspaper News & Observer, when Walker announced in 2019 he was not running for re-election to the House, he met with then-President Trump, then-Vice President Mike Pence, and then-White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
After the meeting, he told McClatchy: “I got a lot of strong support to start moving toward U.S. Senate in 2022,” and said that Trump backed his bid for the Senate.
“Am I grateful that the president says, ‘You’re our guy in U.S. Senate 2022?’ Of course, I am,” Walker said. He said last December to the News & Observer: “I see no reason why that’s dissipated.”