The “increasingly crowded Republican primary” is intensifying this week as Congressman Ted Budd put his hat into the ring. With his entry into the race, Budd, a “staunch ally of former President Donald Trump,” has set up yet another divisive and messy primary battle for the GOP.
On his first day in the race, Budd received an endorsement from the ultra-conservative group Club for Growth and is touting his recent visit to Mar-a-Lago to jockey for the former president’s support — both of which are sure to deepen the fault lines in the Republican Party.
Primary candidate Mark Walker is also drawing a clear line in the sand. After he “welcomed” Budd to the race, he said “all conservatives in North Carolina must stand together” instead of “gambling on a career politician who has lost more statewide races than he’s won.”
The Hill: Budd to run for Senate in NC — “Rep. Ted Budd (N.C.) is the latest Republican to enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R) in an increasingly crowded Republican primary that could determine which party controls the next United States Senate. In a video released Wednesday morning, Budd cast himself as an ally of former President Trump and against the Democratic agenda in Washington…A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Budd is likely to position himself to the right of former Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who entered the race last month.”
WRAL: Congressman Budd enters US Senate race — “The North Carolina Democratic Party quickly labeled Budd “a far-right Freedom Caucus extremist” in saying he would be the wrong person to succeed Republican Sen. Richard Burr. “Congressman Budd has repeatedly voted against the interests of North Carolina in Washington by opposing the desperately needed American Rescue Plan, helping pass massive tax breaks to the rich and corporate special interests and voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Democratic Party Chairwoman Bobbie Richardson said in a statement.”
CNN: — Budd launches North Carolina Senate bid by aligning himself with Trump in growing primary field — “The congressman’s announcement was a clear effort to woo Trump and his supporters, who won North Carolina in 2016 and 2020. Budd met with the former president on Friday evening at Trump’s Florida retreat Mar-a-Lago, according to his political adviser, and previously joined the former president in his effort to overturn the 2020 election, which has become an early litmus test in GOP primaries…McCrory supported Congress’ certification of Trump’s loss, arguing that it’s the conservative position to hold states, rather than the federal government, responsible for their elections.”
News & Observer: With monster trucks and a key PAC’s support, Republican Ted Budd joins NC Senate race — “The race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is getting crowded…Walker said he welcomed Budd, whom he called a friend, to the race — and took a shot at McCrory on Wednesday, with a reference to ‘finally giving our state conservative leadership in the Senate and not gambling on a career politician who has lost more statewide races than he’s won.’”
Politico: Ted Budd launches Senate bid in North Carolina — “Democrats criticized Budd for his vote against certifying the 2020 election results in the House, a vote a majority of House Republicans took following the insurrection at the Capitol. Stewart Boss, a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, called Budd Trump’s ‘number one cheerleader in North Carolina’s congressional delegation — even after Trump’s outrageous voter fraud lies helped fuel a violent mob that attacked the Capitol and tried to overthrow the results of an election.’”
Roll Call: “In joining an already crowded contest to replace GOP Sen. Richard M. Burr, who is not seeking reelection, Budd’s campaign stressed the congressman’s support for former President Donald Trump as well as conservative social and economic policy priorities. Budd, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, was among the 147 Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying the electoral results of some states for Joe Biden.”
Salisbury Post: “Congressman Ted Budd enters U.S. Senate race as self-proclaimed ‘liberal agenda crusher’”
News & Observer’s Brian Murphy: “Budd making clear appeal for MAGA wing of party in his launch.”