GOP: Party no longer supports Walker

By: Scott Witten - Editor

LAURINBURG — The state Republican Party says it plans to disassociate itself from Russell Walker, a candidate House District 48.

On Monday, Walker was asked to leave a Scotland County Republican Party meeting after witnesses said he interrupted the meeting by yelling that county Chairman Mark Schenck was “a phony and a liar.”

Robin Hayes, NCGOP chairman, said Walker will get no financial help from the state party or GOP groups in District 48 which includes Scotland and Hoke counties.

“Based on recent behavior and previous statements, the North Carolina Republican Party is unable and unwilling to support the Republican-nominated candidate for North Carolina House District 48,” Hayes said in a statement. “The NCGOP along with our local parties … will be spending our time and resources supporting Republican candidates that better reflect the values of our party.”

Walker, who considers himself prickly and “more of an Independent than a Republican,” said the party apparatus has not been much help anyway. He said the state GOP is afraid that as a Republican nominee, the media will use his candidacy to “demonize’ the party.

The 75-year-old nominee said that Dallas Woodhouse, executive director for the North Carolina Republican Party, called him Tuesday night to request that he drop out of the race.

“They asked me to step aside,” Walker said. “But there is no way in the world. I’ve spend thousands of my own money and other people’s money. I want voters to have a real choice.”

Walker, a retired chemical engineer, said party leaders don’t like him because he is outspoken and his stances on issues often diverge from the party, including wanting to stop the war on drugs.

“It is nothing less than a war upon the poor,” Walker said. “The war on drugs has gone on now for over 50 years and it has not worked nor will it ever work. It will be as successful as the wars on prostitution, prohibition, gambling, Afghanistan and abortion.”

Walker also wants to end grants or incentives for economic development; stop police killings of innocent civilians; end compulsory auto insurance; deport all illegal aliens; and establish English as the state government language.

He has called Gov. Roy Cooper a “socialist” and sued a number of business and municipalities including The Hoke County News-Journal because it refused to print any of his letters. He said he has also sued Hoke County, Tyton NC Biofuels and the Fifth Third Bank concerning an ethanol plant.

Walker is running to unseat state Rep. Garland Pierce of Wagram in November. Pierce, a Democrat who is typically unopposed, has served in the state House for 14 years.

“The bottom line is they are terrified of me,” Walker said of his fellow Republicans. “I’m the pebble in their shoe.”

Walker defeated John Imbaratto of Laurinmburg in the May primary with 64.83 percent of the vote.


Scott Witten