Former Rep. Mark Walker will remain in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race — for now.
Walker told the Associated Press on Thursday that he and his wife plan to release a video early next week telling supporters they will take time over the holidays to consider whether Walker will remain in the Senate race or instead run for a House seat.
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“This has to be something in my heart, and I don’t know that it’s there yet,” Walker told the AP about a possible return to the House. “I’m willing to consider it.”
Walker’s comments follow reports that former President Donald Trump brokered a deal among North Carolina GOP candidates to help his endorsed Senate candidate, Rep. Ted Budd, who has thus far failed to lead the field. According to Politico, Trump pledged to endorse Walker if he exits the Senate race in favor of a House race. Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is also seeking the Republican nomination for Senate. Budd and Walker are competing for the same base of Trump supporters, while McCrory is seen as more centrist.
The former congressman told the AP he plans to remain a Senate candidate at least through the end of the year.
Walker said he did meet with Trump on Saturday at the Mar-a-Lago club at the former president’s request but denied reports he took the deal Trump offered.
“Even before I had walked back in the meeting with President Trump, some of the reports were already saying that we had made a decision to do all this just wasn’t factual,” Walker said.
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The GOP candidates are seeking their party’s nomination to replace Sen. Richard Burr, who will retire at the end of his term.