Mark Walker announces 2022 U.S. Senate campaign

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., departs the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

RALEIGH – U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a Greensboro Republican, released a campaign video announcing his run for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Walker, who chose not to run for re-election to Congress in 2020 following a 2019 redistricting session, is the first to formally announce a campaign – 23 months before the 2022 general election.

First elected to the U.S. House in 2014, Walker openly pondered a primary challenge to Sen. Thom Tillis in late 2019 before forgoing a campaign. Many state political observers expected him to run in ’22.

Walker unveiled endorsements from Clarence Henderson, a Greensboro civil rights icon who spoke at this year’s Republican National Convention, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“When I was elected to Congress, I told our team, let’s do more than make an argument, let’s make a difference. I was determined to be both a conservative warrior and a bridge builder for all of our communities. That’s exactly what we’ve done, and what we will keep doing as your next Senator. Now we’re taking the next step with some amazing people. I look forward to earning your support,” Walker says in the video.

Several Republicans are expected to run for the seat. Other names mentioned as contenders include former Gov. Pat McCrory and Lara Trump, a native of southeastern NC who has campaigned across the state for President Donald Trump, her father-in-law.