Republican Mark Walker jump-starts 2022 Senate battle in announcing North Carolina bid

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(Photo: Rep. Mark Walker)

(CNN) North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced his 2022 Senate bid on Tuesday, jump-starting a long primary for a rare open seat that will be crucial to the future control of the chamber.

 In a video, Walker pitched himself as both “a conservative warrior and a bridge builder,” who has taken on “the radicals as well as the establishment.” He says, “Washington has lost its mind,” ticking off his opposition to “job-killing regulations,” the Green New Deal, the so-called defund the police movement and the Senate Democratic leader.
“I’m running for the United States Senate because serving others is my life, and I have the experience to fight and to win in Washington,” says Walker, who announced last year that he would not seek reelection for his US House seat. “In North Carolina, Chuck Schumer doesn’t get to pick the next senator, the people do.”
The North Carolina Republican Senate primary for the seat left open by the coming retirement of GOP Sen. Richard Burr is expected to be crowded. The Republican primary for an open lieutenant governor spot this year attracted nine candidates.