Outgoing North Carolina Senator Backs McRory After Trump Endorsed Budd

June 21, 2021 Updated: June 22, 2021

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is backing former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the race to succeed him, after former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.).

Burr’s upcoming retirement has triggered over a dozen people to launch bids, many of them Republican. But Burr told Politico that McCrory is the only Republican “that can win the general election.”

“Pat McCrory has a commanding advantage,” Burr said.

Trump endorsed Budd during the North Carolina Republican Convention in early June.

“This gentleman is going to be your next senator. He’s going to be somebody you’re going to be so proud of. He will fight like hell. He will fight like nobody will fight,” Trump told the crowd.

He also mentioned McCrory.

“You can’t pick people who have already lost two races and do not stand for our values,” Trump said.

Burr told Politico: “I can’t tell you what motivates him. I’ve never seen individuals endorse a candidate a year before the primary. That’s unusual.”

In a statement sent to The Epoch Times on Facebook, McCrory said: “I welcome an open dialog on the matter important to North Carolina and our country.”

Jonathan Felts, a senior adviser to Budd’s campaign, told The Epoch Times in an email: “McCrory is the candidate who is now paying off Burr’s long-time political consultant, so an insider endorsement deal is no surprise. Their electability logic doesn’t quite add up given McCrory’s losing record in statewide battles, failing twice with his lone victory coming only when he faced an underfunded Democrat candidate gifted with all of the charisma and excitement of a piece of cardboard.”

Burr announced in 2016 that he would not seek a fourth term, and has recently confirmed he’s not running for re-election. The race to replace him also includes Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.).

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) speaks at a Make America Great Again rally in Greensboro International Airport, in Greensboro, N.C., on Oct. 27, 2020. (Grant Baldwin/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) listens to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory during a campaign rally in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 5, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
rep mark walker
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) speaks at a Make America Great Again rally in Greensboro International Airport, in Greensboro, N.C., on Oct. 27, 2020. (Grant Baldwin/AFP via Getty Images)

Budd has touted his strong support of Trump and has said he is running to help bolster the Senate, which he described as “the last line of defense against becoming a woke socialist wasteland.” McRory sounded a similar theme, noting that Democrats currently control the upper chamber only by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote ability.

Budd’s campaign website describes him as a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and member of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

His priorities include supporting policies he says protect the 2nd Amendment, strengthen families, and encourage innovation.

McCrory, who was mayor of Charlotte for over a decade before becoming governor for one term, has said he supports policies that prevent so-called sanctuary cities, promote the sanctity of life, and create jobs.

McCrory has referenced his executive experience, calling himself “the only candidate who has balanced budgets while cutting taxes.”

Walker, a former pastor, has championed his outsider status. He supports securing the border, the child tax credit, and standing up to China, among other efforts, according to his campaign website.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a statement from Budd’s campaign.

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