For months, Lara Trump — the wife of former President Donald Trump’s son, Eric — was easily considered a frontrunner in the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate representing North Carolina. But pro-Trump voters in the Tar Heel State who were hoping to back the former president’s daughter-in-law next November just got some bad news.
According to the Washington Examiner, Lara Trump announced Saturday that she’d made the decision not to run for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat in the 2022 midterms.
The rising media star made the announcement just before her father-in-law took the stage in Greenville, where he spoke to supporters and attendees of this year’s North Carolina Republican Convention, the Examiner reported.
“No for now, not no forever”
The Senate seat in question is one that will be left up for grabs after the senior U.S. senator from North Carolina, Richard Burr, a Republican, retires from the upper chamber next year after having served there for 18 years. According to the Examiner, Burr had previously served a decade in the House of Representatives.
Like any good potential politician, Lara Trump made sure to carefully craft her wording in Greenville on Saturday, telling the crowd that though she’s not running this time around, it was only “no for now, not no forever.” The remarks left many wondering if she was hinting at a future in national politics.
In the meantime, some believe Lara Trump’s exit from the race stems from the sheer number of other prominent Republicans who remain interested in taking Burr’s seat once he retires.
Even though she was expected to be a frontrunner, it may have been that Lara Trump and her team were only interested in running if they could secure a clean-cut primary victory, as they then would have received the full support of Republican PACs and other donors in the general election.
A Republican winning Burr’s vacant seat will be critical to the GOP’s efforts to reclaim a majority in the Senate, which is currently split 50-50.
Donald Trump makes endorsement
With his daughter-in-law is no longer in the running, the former president wasted no time in endorsing a conservative candidate for the Senate seat. As he took the stage, Donald Trump endorsed gun store owner and current U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, a relatively unknown North Carolina Republican who the former president touted as the “fighter” that the state and the Republican Party need right now.
“A lot of you don’t know him well,” President Trump said as he introduced Budd to the audience, according to the Examiner. “He will fight like hell. He will fight like nobody fights.”
If the former president holds even a fraction of the endorsement power that he once held, it appears Budd is in great shape to emerge with a victory in 2022.
And while supporters of the former president would have loved to see Lara Trump ascend to a powerful seat in the U.S. Senate, she’s still very young at 38 — and given her popularity, she could undoubtedly have a bright, shining career in politics should she eventually choose to go that route.