Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., was sporting a colorful bow tie as he walked through the Speaker's Lobby Wednesday afternoon; a tribute to former Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., who died Tuesday night at the age of 84.
Walker succeeded Coble, who retired in 2014, in Congress. Coble was known around Capitol Hill for his madras jackets, which involved multi-colored plaid patterns, and Walker's bow tie reflected that signature style. "He's like everybody's grandfather, was like everybody's grandpa back home," Walker told HOH. "He knew every high school mascot, probably in the state. And when it comes to likability, I don't know that anybody can out-surpass him."
Coble did give Walker some advice about serving in Congress, and even escorted the freshman lawmaker to the Capitol Hill Hotel for new member orientation one year ago.
"Yeah, in fact we were on the same flight out and he said, 'Mark, in Washington, there's work horses and show horses,'" Walker said of traveling to Washington with Coble last year. "And I won't forget that, as far as him trying to convey to me the responsibility to get up here, work hard not only in Washington, but back in the district."
Walker was wearing a different tie as he honored Coble on the House floor Wednesday morning, flanked by Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., and his fellow North Carolina Republicans Virginia Foxx, David Rouzer and Richard Hudson, who sported his own madras blazer.
"Howard taught us many things, but most of all he demonstrated why statesmanship still matters," Walker said on the floor. "In a rhetoric- driven political arena, Howard understood why tone and approach continues to make a difference."
Walker also made sure to reference his predecessor's fashion sense on the floor, with a nod to Coble's bachelor status.
"No it didn't match many times," Walker said, "but he was confident enough in who he was, and evidently the ladies seemed to have no problem with it."
Walker told HOH he would be talking with Coble's brother about funeral services to honor the late congressman.
"We want to make sure we celebrate his life," Walker said.
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