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Rep. Mark Walker announces run for U.S. Senate

Walker announced his campaign for U.S. Senate after saying he would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives in December 2019.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) is running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022. Tuesday's announcement comes after stepping away from re-election in the 2020 House of Representatives in December 2019.

Walker aims to take the seat occupied by soon-to-be-retired Richard Burr (R-NC). He made the announcement in a video filmed in various locations throughout downtown Greensboro.

"My goal: To be a conservative warrior and bridgebuilder for all of our communities." Walker said in the video, "My prayer: That God would provide the people to be a part of this journey."

The pastor and politician chose not to run for re-election after the 6th district he had represented since 2014 was redrawn last year. He told WFMY News 2 in December that he would look to run for U.S. Senate "a few years down the road."

In an interview with WFMY News 2's Marissa Tansino, Walker said he announced his senate campaign this early for a number of reasons. 

"Instead of running for another election, we started putting this opportunity this moment together close to about 8 or 9 months ago," he said. "The senate primary is only 15 months away. Number two, I've already been told this will be the most expensive US senate race in history."

Walker said he'll continue to push the values that have been part of his base as a congressman, but he'll also listen to the people of North Carolina. 

"I think we want to continue to build on some of the issues that have been part of our background. Opportunity zones. Criminal justice reform. To be an advocate for life at all different stages. Those are things that are not new issues, those are just issues that I feel have been poorly messaged by republicans, sometimes for decades," he said. 

Walker said he hopes that soon, the spread of the virus will slow to allow for him to travel around North Carolina to meet people.

"The way that people pay attention to the political arena, they know what issues are important to them. We'll continue to expand on what we've done, but also when you travel and listen," he said. 

President Trump told Walker he would enthusiastically back his bid for North Carolina’s Senate seat when Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) retires in 2022, according to a report from Politico. 

Walker served as a co-chair for President Trump's North Carolina re-election efforts.

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