By Dallas Woodhouse
Carolina Journal News Service
RALEIGH — Multiple sources have confirmed to Carolina Journal that 13th District Congressman Ted Budd will enter the U.S. Senate race in the coming weeks. Budd will be campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr by early summer.
Several key grassroots leaders in Budd’s 13th Congressional District confirm his entry into the race is imminent.
Budd is a graduate of Davie County High School and Appalachian State University, where he earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Wake Forest University School of Business. He owns a gun store in Rural Hall.
Budd was first elected to a new 13th District in 2016 after courts ordered the drawing of a new state congressional map.
The 13th currently includes some high-performing GOP counties that would be key in the 2022 U.S. Senate GOP primary, including: Alamance, Randolph, Davidson, Davie, and Rowan.
Political consultant Michael Luethy, who managed Budd’s two winning congressional campaigns, confirmed for CJ that Budd’s entry into the U.S. Senate race is “more likely than not.” A final decision is coming “sooner rather than later.”
Luethy confirmed that steps are being taken to prepare for a run, with a “formidable team being put together.”
However, Luethy said Budd has not made a final decision.
“Should Congressman Budd make that final decision to run for the U.S. Senate, he will bring a unique voice to the race. He is a small business owner who serves on the Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Budd can bring the message we don’t need to grow government. The key to success is growing small business in our rural and urban parts of North Carolina.”
Budd is known as a strong conservative. He won his first campaign with backing from the Club for Growth, which is encouraging his U.S. Senate run. The club is expected to spend heavily in independent efforts to help his primary campaign.
Budd has also told people over the years he does not plan a long career in politics. The fact that he might be leaving a safe seat in the U.S. House, which Republicans are likely to control once again after the 2022 elections, is not a factor in his Senate decision.
CJ has previously reported former Gov. Pat McCrory is also likely to run and is close to joining the race, and that Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, is likely to pass on a run.