North Carolina’s conservative U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R) announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, April 28. He said he believes in “America First” and is “100 percent pro-life,” vowing to run alongside Trump. The North Carolina race could end up being the most competitive and costly Senate race of the 2022 midterm elections.
According to FoxNews.com, Bard is the third major Republican candidate to jump into the North Carolina Senate race. Previously, former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and former Rep. Mark Walker (R) both said they would run in the key general election battleground state in a bid to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R).
A three-term Republican congressman, Bard said, “I believe in freedom, capitalism and putting America first. And I think the ‘no funding for police’ thing is crazy.” And he sent a video of his campaign first to Fox News.
North Carolina has long been a red state, but has become increasingly competitive in recent election cycles. Trump narrowly defeated Biden to take the state last November. Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis also won re-election by less than a percentage point. Earlier, Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham (D) lost after news of an extramarital affair made major headlines in the run-up to the election.
Bard emphasized, “I’m 100 percent pro-life. I think elections should be fair and safe. I’m a political outsider who won’t be bought by the swamp. I don’t give a damn about their Washington games.”
Bard blamed three Democrats, President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He said, “Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are tearing up our Constitution, creating an unprecedented crisis at the southern border, cutting American jobs and mortgaging the future of our children with massive debt.”
Bard added, “Biden is a weak leader. He won’t stand up to the radical left.” He emphasized that “the U.S. Senate is the last line of defense to prevent America from becoming a sober socialist wasteland. And my campaign goal is to stop that from happening, period.”
Bard opposed certifying Biden’s election victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Jan. 6 vote. He spoke of growing up on his family’s farm in Davie County, N.C. “I shoveled a lot of manure on my family’s farm, and that has turned out not to be the dirtiest job I’ve ever done since I’ve been in Congress.”
He talked about how he and his wife were teaching their children at home by themselves (home-school) and not going to school outside, which wasn’t very popular at the time. “And we even read them Dr. Seuss’ (Dr. Seuss) children’s books, and they all turned out just fine.”
Budd, who owns a gun store, ends the video driving a huge red truck – with “Ted Budd U.S. Senate” emblazoned on the door and a U.S. flag flying from the rear – past three vehicles. The huge truck – with “Ted Budd U.S. Senate” on the door and a U.S. flag flying at the rear – overtook three smaller vehicles with “Liberal Agenda” on them.
Bard, who represents North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, also praised his support for former President Trump. He said, “I’m tired of liberals attacking our faith, our families and our way of life, so I’m running for Congress to stand alongside Trump to clear the swamp and take back our country.”
Bard’s video includes a clip from Trump’s 2020 campaign. Trump said, “Bud is a champion for the people of this state …… He voted to cut your taxes, build a border wall, and protect your Second Amendment rights …… Ted, what a great fighter you are.”
Sources close to Bard told Fox News that the congressman attended a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, last weekend and spoke with the former president about his possible run for the Senate.
So far, Trump has remained neutral in North Carolina’s Republican Senate primary. His daughter-in-law, Laura Trump, is also mulling a run for the Senate in her first term. Trump is also mulling a Senate run in the state where she grew up.
McCrory, the Republican seen as the current race frontrunner, also said when he launched his campaign that he has been a “strong supporter” of Trump and is “extremely supportive of the policies of the Trump administration. But as the host of a popular North Carolina talk show, he was critical of Trump’s attempts to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election. And Walker criticized McCrory, saying he was not really supporting Trump because he had made “personal attacks” on him.
In the 2020 Senate matchup in North Carolina, each party spent a record nearly $300 million. The 2022 race is also expected to be very expensive.
And in the Democratic camp, state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D) and former state Sen. Erica Smith (D) are already in the race for the Senate nomination. And former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Beasley (Cheri Beasley) also announced his candidacy on April 27. Former NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham is also considering a run.
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