BREAKING: Mark Walker defies Trump agreement, will stay in Senate race in North Carolina

In early December we reported on an agreement between Trump and Mark Walker to boost Ted Budd in his Republican primary Senate race against Pat McCrory, the former governor of North Carolina.

In that agreement, Walker would drop out of the Senate race and would run for his former House seat with a Trump endorsement. That way, the Trump vote wouldn’t be split any longer between two candidates, potentially pushing Budd to the front of the Senate race over McCrory.

But now it’s being reported that Mark Walker has announced he’s going to stay in the Senate race:

THE HILL – Former Rep. Mark Walker announced Thursday that he will stay in the North Carolina Senate race, bucking pressure to drop out and run for the House instead.

“The last 45 days have been a whirlwind,” Walker said, according to The News & Observer. “When we stepped away from Congress, it was in our hearts to run across North Carolina to be able to take what we’ve been able to do in central North Carolina, and take it across the state for the U.S. Senate.”

Walker has consistently polled behind Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and former Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) in the GOP Senate primary but insisted he will keep competing.

The move goes against the wishes of former President Trump, who has endorsed Budd and in December offered to endorse Walker if he runs for the House instead. Both Budd and Walker are running as Trump allies and could be taking support out of each other’s bases.

Budd has struggled to surpass McCrory in recent surveys despite having the support of Trump and the Club for Growth, whose super PAC has dumped millions of dollars into the race to support him. Pressure built on Walker to drop out amid attempts to help clear the right-wing lane for Budd in his fight against the former governor.

The plan Trump proposed would have seen Walker run in the newly created 7th Congressional District in North Carolina, which is broadly similar to the district he held for three terms and largely overlaps with the area Budd currently represents.

I guess it was a good try by Trump, but not good enough. It looks like the Trump vote will now be split between Budd and Walker, unless one of them can somehow get the lionshare of the vote.

I’m not a huge McCrory fan. While he’d obviously be much better than a Democrat, we all know he’d be a McConnell boy once in the Senate and I’m definitely not a fan of that.

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