Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker plans to make an announcement Saturday about his gubernatorial plans, and it’s expected he’ll be joining the GOP ticket for North Carolina Governor.
Walker would join North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and State Treasurer Dale Falwell in the race.
Walker will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Triad Baptist Christian Academy, located at 1175 S. Main Street in Kernersville. An invitation to the event says he’ll be joined by “numerous friends, families and supporters.”
Walker has been floated as a potential candidate for weeks. Walker advisor Tim Murtaugh recently confirmed the former Congressman was expected to enter the race, according to the Carolina Journal, telling them that “because Democrats will be putting everything they have into the coming race, it’s essential that Republicans nominate a candidate who can withstand the scrutiny of a gubernatorial election.”
Walker served North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021. He left office after redistricting shifted his district in favor of Democrats. He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2022, losing in the Primary to now U.S. Sen. Ted Budd.
He already has support from a big name in sports. NFL Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy offered his support in a tweet May 8.
“Our political climate today is filled with division and animosity. We need leaders who stand on God’s principles but will work to bring people together,” Dungy wrote. “That’s why I encourage Mark Walker to run for Governor of North Carolina because I believe he can do that.”
Former Congressman @RepMarkWalker is organizing his campaign to run for Governor of North Carolina. I am excited because I believe he is the type of person we need in leadership today-a highly principled Christian leader who is willing to work with, and for, everyone. pic.twitter.com/wCYGDXkEUs
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) May 8, 2023
The tweet also included support from Super Bowl champion Benjamin Watson.
“We need someone who lives out his faith in the political arena, operating with conviction, decency and respect. That’s why I am encouraging my friend, former pastor and congressman Mark Walker, to run for governor in North Carolina,” he wrote.
After that loss, Walker shifted his focus to helping elect conservative judges.
GOP candidates are vying for the chance to replace Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and solidify the party’s leadership. Already, Republicans have a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the legislature.
Only one Democrat has entered the race so far, Attorney General Josh Stein. Democrats appear unified around him, setting the stage for an opportunity to save critical Primary spending dollars on a General Election against the eventual GOP nominee.