Former President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina’s 2022 Senate race, giving the three-term congressman a huge boost in the GOP primary.
Trump made his endorsement Saturday evening at the GOP state convention in Greenville.
“He will fight like hell. He will fight like nobody fights,” Trump said.
Budd is one of five Republicans running to replace Sen. Richard Burr, who is not running for a fourth term in 2022. Former Gov. Pat McCrory, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke and former Department of Defense employee Jen Banwart.
Trump added a shot at McCrory as well.
“You can’t pick people who have already lost two races,” Trump said. McCrory lost two races for governor sandwiched around his 2012 victory.
Lara Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and a North Carolina native, announced Saturday night that she would not run for the seat in 2022.
“I am saying no for now, not no forever,” she said.
Despite his 2020 loss, Trump remains the most popular — and influential — Republican in the country. The North Carolina state party, for example, censured Burr after he voted to convict Trump in February for his role inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Earlier this week, Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx for a 10th term.