Rep. Walker won't challenge Sen. Tillis in GOP primary

Image License Photo: Bob Nichols / USDA

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Rep. Mark Walker announced Thursday that he won't challenge Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina's Republican primary next year, a move that shows President Donald Trump's influence on state politics and the high stakes in the 2020 congressional elections.

Walker said he'll focus on remaining in the House, rather than trying to move over to the Senate, even though he says Trump and conservatives had encouraged him to switch.

Walker's name surfaced after GOP activists complained Tillis wasn't supporting Trump enough. Some were particularly unhappy with Tillis' initial opposition to Trump's emergency declaration for the wall at the Mexico border. Tillis later changed his mind and has since intensified his public support for the president.

Raleigh financier Garland Tucker got into the Senate primary race last month.

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