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Walker accepts Trump’s call, declines pursuit of runoff against McDowell

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(The Center Square) – Powerful as usual, the pull of former President Donald Trump has stepped in and there will be no Republican primary runoff in North Carolina for the congressional seat in the Triad area.

Addison McDowell, the BlueCross BlueShield lobbyist endorsed by the nation’s 45th president, will proceed to Congress following the formality of the general election. He does not have a Democratic opponent on Nov. 5.

Trump said through social media on Wednesday he’s asked, and former Congressman Mark Walker has accepted a role in his campaign. Specifically, Trump says Walker will work with faith groups and minority communities, beginning the role immediately.

In the 6th Congressional District, McDowell edged Walker 26.1%-24.1% in a six-candidate race. Walker has previously aligned with Trump and while not endorsed by him this time, did have a picture of him on his campaign website. One of the other candidates in the race, Bo Hines, had been endorsed by the former president two years ago running in a district just south of the Triangle.

The race in the 6th was one of two for Congress between Republicans in the Super Tuesday primaries that was eligible for a runoff. Also Wednesday, Brad Knott formally requested the second primary with Kelly Daughtry in the 13th Congressional District.

The runoff will be May 14.

Daughtry just missed clearing the threshold to avoid the second primary. She was ahead of Knott 27.4%-18.7% in a 14-candiate field.

In his social media post, Trump wrote praised Walker’s tenure in Congress from 2015-2020. He stepped down with an eye on the U.S. Senate seat eventually won by Sen. Ted Budd, then declared to run for governor in 2023, only to leave that quest trying to regain representation of the people in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point areas.

Trump noted his work on the FUTURE Act; engagement with historically black colleges and universities through internships, with chancellors, and as a commencement speaker; and living out his faith in Congress.

“Mark and I had many wins together, and we look forward to continuing to build bridges to all communities in our great nation, and advancing this important work in the White House,” Trump wrote.

On Tuesday, Walker had appeared headed to the runoff. He posted to social media an invitation from television station WGHP that invited he and McDowell to a debate. Walker said of he live broadcast possibility, “What could be better for the people in the heart of the district? Count me in. How about you, Addison?”

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