- Former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd in the 2022 North Carolina Senate race.
- Before choosing Budd, Lara Trump announced that she would not be a candidate in the election.
- In making his selection, Trump passed over former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker.
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During the North Carolina GOP Convention on Saturday, former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd for the Senate seat being vacated by three-term Sen. Richard Burr in 2022.
In a speech to the Republican faithful, Lara Trump cited the ages of her two young children in making the decision not to run, but she didn’t completely shut the door to politics.
“No for now,” she said, thanking her supporters in the crowd. “Not no forever.”
After Lara Trump left the podium, the former president immediately pivoted to the Senate race, calling Budd “your next senator.”
“This is a complete, and total endorsement,” he said.
In selecting Budd, who has served in the House since 2017, Trump shunned the candidacies of former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker, conservative politicians who were angling for his coveted endorsement.
Next year, Republicans hope to build on their gains in North Carolina, as they’ve been successful in state legislative races and with Trump’s statewide wins in 2016 and 2020.
But Democrats control the Governor’s Mansion and are eager to gain a true foothold in this politically-tricky Southern state and expand their razor-thin Senate majority.