Mark Walker (North Carolina politician)
|Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Doug Collins|
|Chair of the Republican Study Committee|
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Bill Flores|
|Succeeded by||Mike Johnson|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from North Carolina's 6th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Howard Coble|
|Born||May 20, 1969|
Dothan, Alabama, U.S.
|Education||Trinity Baptist College|
Bradley Mark Walker (born May 20, 1969) is an American politician and pastor from the state of North Carolina. A Republican, Walker has represented North Carolina's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. In 2017, Walker was elected to head the Republican Study Committee.
Early life and career
Walker eventually attended Trinity Baptist College for a time before moving with his family to Houston, Texas. From there, Walker moved to the Piedmont Triad. He worked in business and finance for several years. Walker eventually returned to college to pursue the ministry and attend Piedmont Baptist College, now Piedmont International University, graduating with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Walker was ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination. His career in ministry began at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. From there he has worked for and led churches in North Carolina and Florida. He has served as a worship pastor, executive pastor and lead pastor.
U.S. House of Representatives
2014 Republican Howard Coble had represented the 6th district since 1985 when he announced his retirement at age 83. Coble supported Phil Berger Jr. in the May primary election and Walker finished second, though in the runoff election, Walker unexpectedly won 57%–44%. Most of Walker's election funding came from individual contributions, which he noted in his primary victory speech. In the general election, Walker defeated Democratic attorney Laura Fjeld of Hillsborough. "I certainly do align with the Republican Party when it comes to traditional values," Walker said after the election, "but even so, limited government is my heart and my nature and I think that says a lot about North Carolina and maybe we are still more red than purple." He said that in his term he hoped to address poverty, immigration, and education issues.
Walker significantly outspent his opponent, Democrat Pete Glidewell, in the 2016 campaign; Walker's $818,000, about 40% from national political action committees (PACs), was nine times what Glidewell had fundraised. All North Carolina incumbents retained their seats; in the 6th district, Walker received 59% of the vote. Neither Walker nor Glidewell won their home county in the election.
During the 2016 presidential election, Walker called some of Republican nominee Donald Trump's remarks "morally reprehensible" and condemned Trump's lewd remarks about women as "vile." Nevertheless, Walker still backed Trump over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. After the election, Walker expressed support for incoming president Trump on the issues of taxes and education, but said he could not stand behind Trump's statements about a registry tracking Muslim Americans.
Walker faced no primary challenger in 2018. On April 20, Walker's campaign raised $650,000 during a luncheon attended by Vice President Mike Pence, the largest sum in U.S. House history, effectively doubling what Walker had previously raised. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Ryan Watts of Burlington by about 13 percentage points.
Tenure and political views
Walker holds "deeply conservative" beliefs. He is an avowed opponent of the Affordable Care Act, and has led the conservative Republican Study Committee's efforts to repeal the health care reform legislation. He has called for "full repeal" of the legislation, and criticized 2015 Republican-sponsored legislation that would repeal only part of the act.
In December 2016, Walker was one of only 33 Republican U.S. Representatives to vote "no" on a short-term stopgap funding measure that would appropriate millions of dollars in federal disaster relief spending in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Walker said that he opposed such stopgap funding bills.
Walker has led efforts to improve the Republican Party's outreach to African Americans, and organized a February 2017 conference between the presidents and chancellors of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Republican congressional leaders. He also worked with fellow Representative Alma Adams, a Democrat from North Carolina, to start an internship program for students from HBCUs. He is supportive of criminal justice reform initiatives, and has called for a shift in Republican approach to this issue.
In 2017, Walker became co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
Republican Study Committee
In 2016, Walker launched a campaign to become chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a faction of highly conservative Republicans. Walker defeated Andy Harris of Maryland in the November 2016 election, becoming the youngest RSC chairman in history.
House Bill 2
Walker is a proponent of North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act ("HB2"), a controversial piece of legislation which was read, amended, passed and signed in a matter of hours on March 23, 2016. On March 28, 2016, as businesses and local governments began registering opposition to HB2, Walker tweeted, "I'm growing weary of the big business and corporate bullying over HB2." At a prayer breakfast on April 2016, Walker asserted that the Democrats had emphasized opposition to HB2 as "part of a calculated strategy to retake control of the Senate, turn the state blue, and establish a base of support for the  presidential election."
Walker has made controversial statements that have brought him national attention; for example, in 2017 he described women colleagues publicly as "eye candy". On May 15, 2017, Walker posted a tweet in which he criticized the construction of specially made ramps allowing ducks to get into and out of the US Capitol Reflecting Pool. In it, he called the move "government waste." The tweet was widely criticized on social media.
During his 2014 campaign, at a Tea Party forum in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Walker was asked if military force was appropriate along the U.S.-Mexican border. He stated that the National Guard might be necessary to secure the border. He added, "...if you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels, to me that is a national threat, and if we got to go laser or blitz somebody.. I don’t have a problem with that either." The moderator then asked if he had any qualms about starting a war with Mexico. Walker responded, "Well, we did it before, if we need to do it again, I don't have a qualm about it." Later, Walker met with the editors of the Greensboro News & Record to tell them, "Being someone who is not a career politician, I’ve learned there are different environments that are a little more heated in context. And when you walk into those by proxy, you have to be very concerned as well as being very upfront about what your positions are because you can be guided very easily."
Following the April 2019 indictment of former Rep. Robin Hayes for allegedly attempting to bribe state insurance officials, Politico identified Walker as the unnamed "Public Official A" in the indictment who called state insurance officials after a political committee under his control received a $150,000 donation. Walker was not indicted or named in the indictment. He denied any wrongdoing and said he has been fully cooperating with the probe.
- Committee on Homeland Security
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Committee on House Administration (Vice Ranking Member)
- "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.: Member of the House (2nd term), Roll Call (accessed January 30, 2017).
- Wegmann, Philip (April 20, 2016). "A Preacher Turned Lawmaker and His New Campaign to Win the Old War on Poverty". The Daily Signal. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- "Mark Walker Bio".
- Biography and Resume at the City of Greensboro, North Carolina website
- Emily Cahn, Megachurches Prove Mega-Influential in GOP Primaries, Roll Call (July 20, 2014).
- Sullivan, Sean (July 15, 2014). "Baptist minister Mark Walker wins Republican runoff in North Carolina's 6th District". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Jarvis, Craig (July 16, 2014). "How did Mark Walker blindside Phil Berger Jr.?". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Brown, Keri (November 5, 2014). "Walker Wins 6th Congressional District Seat". WFDD. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Brown, Keri (November 18, 2014). "Walker: Getting Things Done In Congress Starts With Local Community". WFDD. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Newsom, John (November 8, 2016). "Rep. Mark Walker wins second term in 6th District". News & Record. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Douglas, Anna (November 8, 2016). "All North Carolina incumbents keep seats in Congress". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Douglas, Anna (June 9, 2016). "NC Republicans offer varying levels of support for Trump". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Jarvis, Craig (October 8, 2016). "McCrory, Burr, others join condemnation of Trump". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Douglas, Anna (December 27, 2016). "Meet the knuckleball pitcher in Congress who has redefined conservatives' strike zone". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Specht, Paul A. (April 27, 2018). "An NC Republican says he just made campaign history". The News & Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- "North Carolina Primary Election Results: Sixth House District". The New York Times. May 8, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- "North Carolina Election Results: Sixth House District". The New York Times. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- Sherly Gay Stolberg, As Power in Congress Shifts to G.O.P., Lives of Freshmen in Transition, New York Times (January 6, 2015).
- MJ Lee & Deirdre Walsh, Conservative House Republicans unveil repeal and replace Obamacare bill, CNN (January 4, 2017).
- Alexander Bolton, ObamaCare repeal teeters in Senate, The Hill (November 16, 2015).
- Anna Douglas, Why a congressman voted against a bill with money for disaster relief in his district, News & Observer (December 9, 2016).
- William Douglas, Will GOP’s latest effort to reach out to black community last?, News & Observer (January 30, 2017).
- Lindsey McPherson, Walker Wants GOP to Lead on Criminal Justice, Immigration: Head of Republican Study Committee says new approach warranted, Roll Call (January 23, 2017).
- Walker co-chairs prayer caucus, Asheboro Courier-Tribune (January 11, 2017).
- Alex Gangitano & Bridget Bowman, Republicans Turn Back Democrats in Thriller, 8-7, Roll Call (June 23, 2016).
- Lindsey McPherson, Walker, Harris Running for Republican Study Committee Chairmanship: Race pits freshman congressman against Freedom Caucus member, Roll Call (September 15, 2016).
- Rachel Bade, Walker beats Harris for Republican Study Committee chair, Politico (November 17, 2016).
- Gordon, Michael; Price, Mark S.; Peralta, Katie (March 26, 2015). "Understanding HB2: North Carolina's newest law solidifies state's role in defining discrimination". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- North Carolina General Assembly. "House Bill 2 / S.L. 2016-3 Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. 2016 Second Extra Session". Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- @RepMarkWalker (March 28, 2016). "I'm growing weary of the big business and corporate bullying over HB2" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Wegmann, Philip (April 12, 2016). "Rep. Mark Walker: Liberals Exploiting Bathroom Bill Controversy for Political Gain". The Daily Signal. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Caroline Kenny, September 26, 2017, CNN, RSC chair calls female colleagues 'eye candy' during remarks, Retrieved September 27, 2017, "...The accomplished men and women of the RSC. And women. If it wasn't sexist, I would say the RSC eye candy, but we'll leave that out of the record...."
- Brian Murphy and Lesley Clark, September 26, 2017, The Herald Sun, NC lawmaker calls Republican women ‘eye candy’ during press event, Retrieved September 27, 2017
- @RepMarkWalker (May 15, 2017). "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be government waste" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Rozsa, Matthew (May 17, 2017). "So the GOP is anti-duckling now?". Salon. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- Greenwood, Max (May 16, 2017). "GOP rep decries Capitol duck ramp as 'government waste'". The Hill. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- "War With Mexico? Of Course Not". News-Record. September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Binker, Mark (September 19, 2014). "Walker doesn't 'have a qualm' about war with Mexico". WRAL.com. WRAL-TV. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- Killian, Joe (September 27, 2014). "Will the real Mark Walker step up?". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Zanona, Melanie; Bresnahan, John (April 2, 2019). "GOP Rep. Mark Walker entangled in federal corruption probe in North Carolina". Politico. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Rodrigo, Chris Mills (April 2, 2019). "GOP lawmaker Mark Walker ensnared in federal corruption probe". The Hill. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Halaschak, Zachary (April 2, 2019). "North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker mixed up in federal corruption investigation". Washington Examiner. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Kathy Chaffin, Congressman Walker tours Elkin, Elkin Tribune (August 28, 2015).
- Congressman Mark Walker official House website
- Mark Walker for Congress
- Mark Walker (North Carolina politician) at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Republican Study Committee
| Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
Bonnie Watson Coleman
|114th||Senate: R. Burr • T. Tillis||House: D. Price • W. B. Jones II • G. K. Butterfield • V. Foxx • P. McHenry • R. Ellmers • G. Holding • R. Hudson • M. Meadows • R. Pittenger • A. Adams • D. Rouzer • M. Walker|
|115th||Senate: R. Burr • T. Tillis||House: D. Price • W. B. Jones II • G. K. Butterfield • V. Foxx • P. McHenry • G. Holding • R. Hudson • M. Meadows • R. Pittenger • A. Adams • D. Rouzer • M. Walker • T. Budd|