Walker Building Insurmountable Endorsements Lead in 2022 GOP Primary Race?

GREENSBORO – The race for North Carolina’s 2022 U.S. Senate seat is sure to be one of, if not the highest profile and most expensive races in the nation, owing to the precarious Senate makeup, North Carolina’s now perennial swing state status, and the vacuum effect that comes with a departing longtime incumbent in Sen. Richard Burr (R).

As such, the primary battles for both Republicans and Democrats are major. One candidate on the GOP side, however, maybe pulling away from the pack in terms of campaign infrastructure and competitive endorsements from local leaders across the state.

John Hammer at the RHINO Times posits that, from where he sits in Guilford County, the nature of former Congressman Mark Walker’s endorsements advantage may be decisive:

“[…] It’s going to be hard for anyone to compete with the list of endorsements former Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker has racked up in Guilford County for the 2022 US Senate Republican primary.

Walker is currently the only declared Republican candidate in the 2022 US Senate race, but the field is expected to get crowded before the primary, currently scheduled for March 2022. […]

More than merely approving an endorsement email soliciting campaign donations, those Triad leaders endorsing Walker are actually coming together for photo shoots and events.

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That may seem small, but it is not insignificant in terms of the ‘All Politics is Local’ anecdote. From potential opponents’ perspective; If another candidate has locked up the support of all local leaders, building infrastructure and leveraging an incumbent’s network to drive breadth in outreach, it becomes increasingly difficult to make any dents in their lead.

It would take even bigger endorsements to have a chance at closing the gap, or enough existing name ID to hope to overcome it. Former Governor Pat McCrory has name ID, but it is Trump name — Lara Trump — that might be the only one able to erase the early lead Walker has built.

Still, her entry into the race is hardly assured.

As is, it appears that Walker is the man to beat when it comes to declared candidates in the Republican primary.

Below is a list of those ‘impressive’ endorsements noted by Hammer.

John Faircloth – state representative, District 62

Jon Hardister – state representative, District 59

Jay Wagner – High Point mayor

Ann Schneider – Oak Ridge mayor

BJ Barnes – Summerfield mayor and former Guilford County sheriff

John Flynn – Stokesdale mayor

Alan Perdue – Guilford County commissioner

Justin Conrad – Guilford County commissioner

Anita Sharpe –Guilford County Board of Education member

Pat Tillman – Guilford County Board of Education member

Linda Wellborn – Guilford County Board of Education member

Thearon Hooks Jr. – Stokesdale mayor pro tem

Victor Jones – High Point City councilmember

Britt Moore – High Point City councilmember

George McClellan – Oak Ridge town councilmember

Derek Foy – Stokesdale town councilmember

Jimmy Landreth – Stokesdale town councilmember

Jim Rigsbee – Stokesdale town councilmember

Lynne DeVaney – Summerfield town councilmember

John O’Day – Summerfield town councilmember

Tim Sessoms – Summerfield town councilmember and former mayor

Reece Walker – Summerfield town councilmember

Tina Forsberg – Guilford County Republican Party

Mike Adams – former Summerfield town councilmember

Dena Barnes – former Summerfield mayor and Federation of Women state chairman

Alan Branson – former Guilford County commissioner

Lee Haywood – former Sixth District GOP chair and candidate for Congress

Hank Henning – former Guilford County commissioner

Marcus Kindley – former GOP County chair

Zack Matheny – former Greensboro city councilmember

Jeff Phillips – former Guilford County commissioner

Carla Strickland – former Pleasant Garden mayor

Tony Wilkins – former Greensboro city councilmember

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