Trump forces congressional candidate to end campaign with critical endorsement

 May 3, 2024

Donald Trump has forced a Republican candidate for Congress to drop out by endorsing her rival. 

Kelly Daughtry, a candidate for North Carolina's 13th District, said Trump's backing of opponent Brad Knott left her with no "feasible" path to victory.

“In light of President Trump’s endorsement of Brad Knott for the Congressional seat in District 13, it has become clear that a pathway to victory is no longer feasible. I believe in the democratic process and respect the endorsement of our President,” Daughtry said.

Trump forces dropout

Daughtry had finished first in a crowded Republican primary in March, with Knott coming in second by almost 10 points.

But Daughtry failed to overcome the 30% threshold needed to win the primary outright. She is still on the ballot in a runoff election on May 14, and she's urging her supporters to rally behind Knott.

“Brad Knott will be the Republican nominee on May 14th. I extend my congratulations to him and wish him well. Brad has my full endorsement, and I want him to know that I am here to support him, not to oppose him,” Daughtry said.

“It is time we bring the Republican Party together. I have asked my supporters to formally support Brad’s campaign.”

The incumbent in the 13th district, Democrat Wiley Nickel, declined to seek re-election after redistricting put him at a disadvantage. Democratic nominee Frank Pierce faces an uphill battle to keep the seat in his party's hands.

Rallying behind Trump

Meanwhile, Knott isn't taking the nomination for granted despite Trump's endorsement.

"While Kelly has ended her campaign, this election is not over," Knott said. "I strongly encourage my supporters to get out and vote on May 14."

Daughtry's sudden move is the latest proof of Trump's power as a party kingmaker. He is the GOP's presumptive nominee for president, having won an early and decisive victory in the presidential primary.

Trump has won the endorsement of the most prominent Republicans in the nation, including old rivals like Mitch McConnell, ahead of November's high-stakes elections.

It's not surprising, then, that Daughtry sees no path forward for her candidacy.

"The time is now for Republicans to unite together and win in November. I will be right beside you in working to deliver that victory," she said.

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts