Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican Rep. Ted Budd for North Carolina’s open Senate seat in 2022 on Saturday night after Mr. Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara announced she won’t run.
Speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention in Greenville, the former president said Mr. Budd, a member of the Freedom Caucus, “will fight like nobody fights. I am giving him my complete and total endorsement.”
Mr. Budd said Mr. Trump’s endorsement “means the world to me.”
“Let’s get back to making America great again,” the lawmaker said.
He is running for the seat of the retiring three-term Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. Also running in the GOP primary is Rep. Mark Walker.
Ms. Trump, who is married to the former president’s son Eric, said she did “a lot of soul-searching” about the race but decided the timing wasn’t right. The couple has two children, ages 3 and 1.
“It is going to be very hard for me to enter this Senate race right now,” she said.
The former president said, “I think she did the right thing for her and for her family.”
Former Gov. Pat McCrory, who’s also running in the GOP Senate primary, said he is “disappointed that President Trump has endorsed a Washington insider who has done more to oppose the Trump agenda than anyone in this race.”
“Ted Budd opposed President Trump’s plan to secure the border, to support our farmers, to repeal Obamacare, and he even voted against President Trump’s COVID vaccines,” he said in a statement. “Now, he’ll do even more to defeat President Trump’s agenda if he’s the Republican nominee by giving our seat in the U.S. Senate to Chuck Schumer and the Democrats. Ted Budd’s bought-and-paid-for Washington insider voting record is not electable in North Carolina.”