Trump enlists Mark Walker in an effort to win over Christian and Black voters

Palm Beach, Florida - Former North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker recently dropped out of his primary race to join presidential candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

Donald Trump (r.) recently announced that former North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker has joined his campaign to work with faith and minority communities.
Donald Trump (r.) recently announced that former North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker has joined his campaign to work with faith and minority communities.  © Collage: Mark Walker & Nicholas Kamm / AFP

On Wednesday, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to announce that Walker had "immediately" agreed to join his campaign "to work with Faith Groups and Minority Communities."

Trump praised Walker's tenure in Congress, noting how he led the passing of the FUTURE Act and his work with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in his state.

Walker left Congress in 2021 and unsuccessfully ran for other political positions, including state governor. In each race since, Trump chose to back Walker's challenger instead.

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In October, Walker announced he would be running to represent North Carolina's 6th congressional district.

He was set to face Addison McDowell, whom Trump endorsed, in a special runoff in the spring, but per Trump's request, he has now suspended his campaign.

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In response to Trump's post, Walker confirmed the news in a statement.

"As a Christian and former pastor, I look forward to working with faith leaders... to promote families, liberty, and opportunities for people and places long forgotten by Democrats," he wrote.

"Having directly served in inner cities," he continued, "it is clear the Democrat party elites have little to show for the policies forced on these great communities they have promised – but failed – to represent."

"President Trump and I discussed the faith community and know it is America's foundation and vital to our nation's healing," he added.

Donald Trump's awkward relationship with Black and Christian voters

Supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump bowing their heads in prayer during a rally in Rome, Georgia, on March 9, 2024.
Supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump bowing their heads in prayer during a rally in Rome, Georgia, on March 9, 2024.  © Chip Somodevilla / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Over the years, Trump, who is currently facing countless criminal charges and familial scandals, has struggled to connect with many Black and Christian voters.

Trump has a long history of saying arguably distasteful statements when speaking about Black and minority voters.

During a recent event in Columbia, South Carolina, Trump told members of the Black Conservative Federation, after they gave him a Champion of Black America award, that "Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I'm being discriminated against."

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Despite his pattern of highly questionable behavior, Trump has seen a recent rise in Black support, but is still a long ways away from Joe Biden, who won the demographic in 2020 by a very wide margin. The GOP frontrunner has also garnered support from a few prominent Black Republicans, including Senator Tim Scott, who is being considered as a potential VP candidate, and North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson.

Many Christians continue to support Trump in droves, despite the fact that many of his public and personal scandals come in stark contradiction with the Christian values the former president claims to uphold.

To both groups, Trump has claimed no other president in US history has ever fought harder for them than he has, and he has promised to continue to do so if he wins reelection.

Cover photo: Collage: Mark Walker & Nicholas Kamm / AFP

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