North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced Monday that he will not run for reelection in the House next year but is considering running for Senate in 2022.
“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator,” Walker said in a statement. “As I have always sought to have serving people supersede our ambition, I will dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress. After we have secured more conservative policy and Republican electoral victories for North Carolina, we will take a look at the 2022 Senate race and we are thankful to have President [Donald] Trump’s support.”
Walker’s district became significantly more Democratic as a result of recent redistricting. Under the new North Carolina congressional lines, the 6th District will go from having backed Trump by 15 points in 2016 to one that would have backed Clinton by nearly 22 points.
While running for reelection to the House in the new district would have been difficult, Walker also would have faced challenges if he jumped into the 2020 Senate race. Trump has already endorsed the Republican incumbent, Sen. Thom Tillis.
But North Carolina’s other Senate seat will be open in 2022 as Republican Sen. Richard Burr has already announced his plans to retire after his current six-year term.
Trump’s endorsement of Walker to run for Burr’s seat will likely discourage other Republicans from mounting bids.