Mark Walker (North Carolina politician)

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Mark Walker
Mark Walker official photo.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Howard Coble
Personal details
Born (1969-05-20) May 20, 1969 (age 49)
Dothan, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelly Walker
Religion Baptist[1]

Bradley Mark Walker (born May 20, 1969) is a pastor from the state of North Carolina and a Republican Party member of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 6th congressional district. Before winning the 2014 general election, Walker had never held elected office.

Early life and career

Walker was born in 1969[2] in Dothan, Alabama and grew up in the panhandle of Florida. His father, an Independent Baptist minister, was the chaplain of a prison in Alabama, and brought his young son on his rounds. Walker recalled, "I remember the joy on their faces that their lives matter, that somebody took the time to invest in them." There, "he says he learned the lesson of acceptance, of 'looking beyond whatever social background, and just trying to see the person as an individual.'"[3]

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 married Kelly Sears, a trauma nurse, and worked for Flow Automotive. Several years later, Walker returned to college to pursue the ministry. He attended Piedmont Baptist College, now Piedmont International University, and graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Walker was ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination. He first worked at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. Walker has spent most of ministry career as a worship pastor. He has also served as an executive pastor and lead pastor.

In 2008, Walker started with Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro as its Pastor of Arts and Worship.[4]

The Walkers have three children and live in Guilford County.

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Walker's 2014 campaign slogan was "People Before Politics." Following the primary election, Walker and Phil Berger, Jr. advanced to a runoff election. Despite finishing second in the May primary, Walker unexpectedly won the runoff election by a significant margin.[5]

Tenure

One of Walker's first actions in office was to establish the Healthcare, Opportunity, Poverty and Education (H.O.P.E.) Commission for the 6th District and surrounding areas,[6] determined in a 2015 Gallup survey and report to be the worst community in the nation for food hardship.[3]

In 2015 Rep. Walker introduced the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (APLUS) amendment to the Student Success Act.[7]

HB2 controversy

Rep. Walker is a proponent of North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act ("HB2"), a controversial piece of legislation[8] which was read, amended, passed and signed in a matter of hours on March 23, 2016.[9] 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."[10] Walker also called musician Bruce Springsteen a bully when Springsteen announced on April 8 that he and his band were cancelling an April 10 concert in Greensboro in protest.[11] At a prayer breakfast on April 12, Walker expressed his opinion that the dismay and outrage over HB2 were "part of a calculated strategy to retake control of the Senate, turn the state blue, and establish a base of support for the [2016] presidential election."[12]

2014 remarks on border security, war with Mexico, Obama

During his 2014 campaign, at a Tea Party forum in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Walker was asked if military force was appropriate along the US-Mexican border. He stated that the National Guard might be necessary to secure the border.[13] 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 with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, 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."[14][15] Asked if he would vote to impeach President Obama "in case he decides not to leave," he replied, "Yeah. And I don’t think that’s out of the question. I think he’s gotten pretty comfortable up there spending all of those billions of dollars on vacations for he and his family. Yeah." The moderator asked, "All he’s got to do is declare a little martial law and what are you going to do with him?” Walker replied, "That’s what Norris was talking about a little bit earlier — Sharia law. I mean — and martial law, both. ‘I’m not leaving until ...’ I don’t want to sound too cowboyish there, but yeah, I would stand up to that. And I think we still have a country that if he tried to pull that crap, it’d get real nasty real quick."[16]

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."[16] The News & Record clarified further, "Mark Walker does not think Barack Obama may declare martial or Sharia law. He does not really believe the president has been spending billions of dollars — with a B! — on family vacations. He doesn’t actually have no qualms about bombings at the border that could start a war with Mexico,"[16] but in October 2014 declined to endorse him for Congress, calling these remarks "disturbing."[17]

Committee assignments

References

  1. "Roll Call on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "NationalJournal". National Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Biography and Resume at the City of Greensboro, North Carolina website
  5. Sean Sullivan (July 15, 2014). "Baptist minister Mark Walker wins Republican runoff in North Carolina's 6th District". Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Bringing Awareness to Action: Walker Launches H.O.P.E. Commission". Congressman Mark Walker. April 28, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Walker Fights to Truly Return Control of Education". Congressman Mark Walker. July 8, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. North Carolina General Assembly. "House Bill 2 / S.L. 2016-3 Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. 2016 Second Extra Session". Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. RepMarkWalker (March 28, 2016). "I'm growing weary of the big business and corporate bullying over HB2" (Tweet).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Bond, Paul (April 8, 2016). "North Carolina Congressman: Bruce Springsteen Is a "Bully" for Canceling Concert". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "War With Mexico? Of Course Not". News-Record. September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Binker, Mark (September 19, 2014). "Walker doesn't 'have a qualm' about war with Mexico". WRAL.com. WRAL-TV. Retrieved April 10, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Killian, Joe (September 27, 2014). "Will the real Mark Walker step up?". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Editorial staff (October 26, 2014). "Fjeld for Congress". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved April 23, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Howard Coble
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th congressional district

January 3, 2015 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Trott
R-Michigan
United States Representatives by seniority
426th
Succeeded by
Mimi Walters
R-California