America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican.
Our Member of the Week is Congressman Mark Walker of North Carolina’s 6th District.
Before coming to Capitol Hill, Congressman Walker served as the Pastor of Worship & Music for Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC. He also has a small business background, working in both sales and management roles. Congressman Walker now serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on House Administration.
1. ) What inspired you to run for Congress?
Like so many outside of Washington, I grew concerned over the direction our party and nation were heading. With all the name-calling and vitriol that we see on the 24-hour news cycle, I believed we could communicate our message of individual liberty, hope and opportunity through principled compassion, not petty condemnation.
2. ) What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player, either for the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees.
3. ) What has surprised you most about life on Capitol Hill?
I’ve been surprised by the how many individuals and businesses are pleading for help from the overreaching and overburdening federal government. I have several meetings each day, ranging from small community banks to tobacco farmers. One message has been loud and clear – we must do something to keep the federal government’s regulatory process from choking our small businesses to death.
4. ) Do you have any hidden talents?
I have conducted choirs and orchestras for major productions, such as the Greensboro Christmas Spectacular for seven years in a row.
5. ) What is the last book you read that you simply could not put down until you finished?
The Five Love Languages, written by a close friend from back home, Dr. Gary Chapman.
6. ) Who has been your biggest influence in your life?
My father. I’ve never met an individual who came from less, yet accomplished so much while still maintaining a humble spirit.
7. ) When did you know you were a Republican?
When my lead-painted tricycle was confiscated.
8. ) What is the most important–but under-reported—policy issue you work on?
Education reform. My A-PLUS Act would allow states to opt-out of federal education regulations, yet allow them to maintain federal education funding. I believe strongly that the more localized a decision can be made, the better the outcome. The same applies to a child’s education. Teachers, local administrators, and parents know how to educate students more effectively than bureaucrats in Washington.
9. ) Describe your ideal “day-off”.
Lunch with my wife, Kelly, followed by SEC Football (Crimson Tide).
10. ) What is your most favorite meal that you like to cook?
If I am cooking, I can assure you, it’s not going to be anyone’s favorite meal.