(WGHP) — Congressman Mark Walker is no longer running in the North Carolina governor’s race. Walker is instead running for NC’s 6th Congressional District.

He released a statement on Wednesday afternoon, which is provided below:

With the new congressional district maps being made public last week, Kelly and I have been overwhelmed with the number of grassroots citizens and officials reaching out for us to consider taking the fight back to Congress. Before I was redistricted out of North Carolina’s 6th district by a leftist lawsuit and a handful of Raleigh elites, I was honored to serve the people of High Point and central North Carolina in the U.S. Congress.

I was the first member elected to chair the Republican Study Committee–the largest caucus in Congress–after only one term. I was also blessed to serve as Vice Chair of the Republican Conference and departed as the highest rated conservative to ever serve in U.S. House leadership. To this day, I’m the last member of Congress to secure a floor vote on a balanced budget amendment and I’m just as proud of incredible team closing over 1,800 veteran cases.

It is this conservative record that has sheriffs and state legislators across central North Carolina–as well as more than 40 congressional colleagues–supporting a growing effort for me to yet again represent the good people of central North Carolina in the U.S. House. I’m also elated to announce that I have the support of the new Speaker of the House and my dear friend, Speaker Mike Johnson.

Transparently, it would be disingenuous of me to act as if there were a clear path in the gubernatorial race. That door has not opened. We have some solid Republican candidates running for Governor, and all would be superior to Democrat Josh Stein. After spending a few days is DC this month, I’m reminded of the grind of Congressional service that can be mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. However, there exists a radical movement designed to steal the very soul of our nation–including the hearts and minds of an entire generation. That’s why it’s crucial we have representation of leaders who live out conservative principles everyday being grounded in a genuine faith in our Creator, God Almighty.

It’s also why I’m announcing my plans to return to the U.S. House, placing the 6th district back to where it has historically been–represented by a conservative Republican. Having previously represented 13 NC counties, I look forward to representing many friends as well as family members in the new 6th including all of Rowan, Davidson and Davie Counties and parts of Cabarrus, Forsyth, as well as our home county of Guilford.

I’ve been amazed at the encouragement coming from the 6th district and across the state, and I’m delighted to share that since the maps were released only a week ago, our campaign has already received close to 500K in pledges from supporters across North Carolina as we’ve been looking at the 6th district.

It’s been my honor to spend the bulk of my adult life in service, first as a pastor in the Triad for 16 sixteen years as well as spending 6 years representing the citizens of central NC in the halls of Congress. Boldly stated, there is no other candidate that can match my experience and my strong, conservative record.

In gratitude for a wide range of support from North Carolina to DC, I am now stepping away from the gubernatorial race and move forward in the Congressional race with great hope and expectation for this crucial moment in the history of our great nation. May God provide the path and the courage to follow.

Congressman Mark Walker