Former President Donald Trump on Saturday endorsed Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) for North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate seat after his daughter-in-law Lara Trump said she wouldn’t join the already hotly contested GOP primary field.
Lara Trump said part way through Trump’s remarks at a North Carolina GOP convention that while she “did a lot of soul-searching,” it’s ‘no’ for now,” though “not ‘no’ forever.”
Trump said he “put a little pressure” on his daughter-in-law to make a decision because he wanted to clear the field quickly rather than have a drawn-out, bloody primary.
Trump gave his “complete and total endorsement” to Budd and vowed to work and campaign with him, revealing he only told Budd 15 minutes before he took the stage.
Budd, invited to the stage by Trump, said the endorsement, which is likely to give him a considerable edge in the primary, “means the world to me.”
Also running for the seat are Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who was ousted by current Gov. Roy Cooper in 2016.
44%. That’s the share of convention-goers who voted for Walker in a straw poll, according to a tweet from Walker. Budd trailed at 29%, with McCrory at 18%.
“I’m disappointed that President Trump has endorsed a Washington insider who has done more to oppose the Trump agenda than anyone in this race,” McCrory tweeted, predicting he will win the race.