3 Republicans vie for N.C. Senate nomination

FILE - In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory participates during a University of North Carolina Institute of Politics forum in Chapel Hill, N.C. McCrory said on Thursday, July 22, 2021 that he wants to participate in three televised debates ahead of the 2022 primaries, including one in late fall and two early next year. He is competing against U.S. Rep. Ted Budd and former Rep. Marker Walker in his bid for the Republican Party's nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, file)

FILE – In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory participates during a University of North Carolina Institute of Politics forum in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, file)

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UPDATED 11:35 AM PT – Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The power of 45th President Donald Trump’s influence could be put on full display in North Carolina’s Republican primary. He choose to endorse Republican Rep. Ted Budd in June at the state convention. Trump said while he thinks the other candidates are great people, they do not have a chance to win in the general election.

If Budd wins the seat, he promised to continue the ‘America First’ agenda from an outsider’s position. However, the endorsement has not been uniformly well received across the state party.

According to recent reports, Budd was a shareholder in a crop seed company ran by his family, which went bankrupt in 2000 and caused millions of dollars in company debts to farmers to not be paid back. The farmers sued and received some compensation for their losses from the Budd family.

These reports have given fresh life to Budd’s primary opponents, former Rep. Mark Walker and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Both issued statements saying Budd was scamming farmers and he is nothing more than a D.C. insider.

Rep. Walker is a Trump ally who was hoping to receive the president’s endorsement for himself. He said President Trump made a mistake by endorsing Budd and also suggested Trump was misled by his advisors. If Walker wins the election, he too promised to drain the D.C. swamp and fight for real conservative policies.

“When I was elected to Congress, I told our team let’s do more than make an argument, let’s make a difference,” he stated. “My goal? To be a conservative warrior and a bridge builder for all of our communities. And that’s exactly what we did taking on the swamp. My prayer? That God would provide the people to be part of this journey.”

McCrory was a one term governor who lost to Democrat Roy Cooper in 2016 while Trump won the state against Hillary Clinton. While governor, McCrory created a flat tax for income taxes and tried to implement new election integrity laws. If elected to the Senate, he promised to bring a fresh perspective to the body as he built his career in his state, not D.C.

“It’s because we do need some voices that actually have had to deal with the police, deal with community leaders, neighborhood leaders, call the National Guard,” said McCrory. “I’ve actually had to call the National Guard to deal with anarchists while I was governor.”

Polls have been sparse, but McCrory typically leads with majority support. Some polls show that when voters are made aware of who Trump endorsed, however, Budd gets a boost from third to firs. This shows the 45th president still holds sway in the Tar Heel State.

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