McDowell wins NC-6 Republican primary after Walker declines runoff

Addison McDowell defeated five other candidates in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District on March 5, 2024. McDowell finished with 26.1% of the vote, below the 30% vote threshold that could have prompted a runoff. Mark Walker, who finished second with 24.1% of the vote, said he would join Donald Trump’s (R) presidential campaign rather than request a runoff.

In North Carolina, runoff elections are not automatic—the second-place candidate must request them. Walker’s decision made McDowell the presumptive representative for the new 6th District as no other candidates filed to run in the general election.

In a social media post, Trump said that Walker would join the campaign to work with faith groups and minority communities. “Mark and I had many Wins together, and we look forward to continuing to build bridges to all Communities in our Great Nation,” Trump wrote.

McDowell, who Trump endorsed in the primary election, said: “I would like to commend Mark Walker for his passion for public service. I might be the younger of the two of us, but Mark Walker is the higher energy candidate. I’ve no doubt what feeds that energy is his passion for service. He ran a tough race and made me have to be a better candidate to win this thing. I don’t know what his future holds, but I have faith God has a great plan for Mark.”

McDowell is a former government relations liaison who represented Blue Cross Blue Shield and a former staffer to former U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R). McDowell said securing the southern border was a policy priority after he lost a brother to a fentanyl overdose. McDowell said Trump and Budd endorsed him “because they believe he is the candidate who will put up the strongest fight to help them promote the America First Agenda and secure our Southern border.”

Walker is a former pastor who represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021. Walker ran on his legislative record, describing himself as “the highest-rated conservative to ever serve in U.S. House leadership.” Walker said he had a 100% record of voting in favor of restrictions on abortion, earned an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, and was the last member of the House to successfully move for a floor vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.