Rep. Ted Budd, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, will win the North Carolina GOP Senate primary, CNN projects.
GOP Sen. Richard Burr’s retirement opened the door to a raucous GOP primary in North Carolina. While Budd won the prized endorsement Trump, that wasn’t enough to clear the field. The former President reportedly told former Rep. Mark Walker that he would endorse him in a House race if Walker would leave the Senate race, an offer Walker declined.
Budd also faced off against Gov. Pat McCrory, who was attacked by Trump for two failed gubernatorial campaigns, and army veteran Marjorie K. Eastm
Democrats nominated former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, CNN projected. If Beasley wins, she would make history by becoming the state’s first Black senator.
Budd was the first non-incumbent who Trump endorsed in the 2022 cycle, and he was also backed by the conservative Club for Growth’s political arm, which spent more than $11 million bolstering Budd and casting McCrory as too liberal. The Club for Growth and Trump have been at odds in other races, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.
With Trump’s backing, Budd consolidated support from conservatives -- despite Walker’s presence in the race and attempts to challenge him for that same pool of voters.
Burr's retirement has made North Carolina's Senate race one of the most closely watched contests of the 2022 midterm elections, with Republicans' hopes of winning a Senate majority depending in part on their ability to hold the seat.