By David Larson
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, who currently represents N.C.’s 13th Congressional District, has won the Republican primary for the state’s U.S. Senate race, according to the Associated Press, the New York Times, and CNN. Budd’s candidacy was given a major boost over key rivals after an endorsement by former President Donald Trump and big spending on his behalf by the Club for Growth PAC.
The North Carolina Republican Party tweeted: “Congratulations to Ted Budd, winner of the U.S. Senate Republican Primary! NC is ground zero for defeating the radical Democrats, reclaiming the Senate majority. Ted Budd will lead the way in November, taking our Family First, conservative values to DC !”
NC GOP Chair Michael Whatley added, “Congratulations to @TedBuddNC – a proven conservative who will be tough on China and Russia, protect our southern border and fight inflation and high gas prices.”
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who will become the “senior senator from North Carolina,” congratulated Budd, saying, “Congratulations to my friend @TedBuddNC on winning the GOP nomination. Ted is a proven conservative problem solver, and I will be doing everything I can between now and November to help make sure he is elected NC’s next U.S. Senator.”
In the early days of the race, former Republican governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory held a significant lead, but Budd consistently whittled away at this advantage. In January of this year, a Civitas poll found McCrory still on top, with 24% of the vote to Budd’s 19%. But in late polling it became clear Budd’s momentum had carried him far ahead of his rivals. A May poll from the Hill had Budd at 43% and McCrory 27 points behind with 16%.
Now Budd will look ahead to the November general election where he will face former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who is the presumptive winner of the Democratic nomination.