After he was narrowly defeated in 2016 by current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, former Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has thrown his hat back in the political ring.
According to Breitbart, Cooper is not seeking the same office he once occupied, but instead hopes to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in next year’s midterm election.
“I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore”
McCrory made the announcement on Wednesday morning during the Charlotte-based talk radio show he launched after losing his re-election bid to Cooper.
Following the broadcast of The Pat McCrory Show with Bo Thompon on WBT, he issued a more formal statement on Twitter.
“For the last few years, I’ve sat on the sidelines and watched people like [Senate Democratic Leader] Chuck Schumer [of New York] & the far-left drag this country toward radical liberal policies,” he wrote. “I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. So I’m in!”
In an accompanying video, McCrory lamented the damage he believes has already been done to the nation as well as the future impact of the Biden administration, stressing how important he feels it is to “take back the Senate” from Democrats next year.
Referencing his self-styled status as a D.C. “outsider” as well as his political experience as Charlotte’s mayor, he solicited the support of his state’s conservative voters to bring an “America First” agenda to Capitol Hill.
Potentially crowded Republican field
Although his official announcement did not come until Wednesday, Politico published the results of a recent poll two days earlier that showed he would be a frontrunner for the GOP nomination should he decide to run.
His name recognition in the state gave him a comfortable lead over his two most likely competitors — Reps. Mark Walker and Ted Budd — but a wild card candidate could completely upset his chances.
Former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is a North Carolina native who has been rumored as a possible contender in the race to replace Burr. According to The Hill, she would immediately vault to the lead over other candidates, including McCrory, if she decides to enter the race.
A GOP-aligned poll conducted by Cygnal showed Trump with 32.4% support in an eight-person hypothetical race, beating out her closest rivals Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and McCrory, who received 20.1% and 14.2% support respectively. She also led the field in terms of favorability with a rating of 66%.
The recently minted Fox News Channel contributor has given no indication that she is seriously considering such a bid, however, so it seems clear that McCrory is the early favorite ahead of the midterm primary race.