Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Launches Bid for 2022 Senate

In this photo taken Monday, May 9, 2016 Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks regarding House Bill 2 during a news conference in Raleigh, N.C. The North Carolina governor's race is everything voters anticipated it would be: expensive attack ads and barbed debates before what's essentially a referendum on the state's …
Gerry Broome/AP Photo

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) announced Wednesday he is running for the state’s U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is vacating next year.

McCrory, who served as governor from 2013–2017 before launching a radio show in Charlotte, made the announcement on his show Wednesday morning.

“Let me just tell my family, my audience, my friends, I’m in. I’m in. I’m in. I’m going to run for the U.S. Senate because I’m simply the best for the job,” he said on WBT’s Pat McCrory Show with Bo Thompson.

He also posted a video announcement to social media:

McCrory said that on the campaign trail, “We’re going to be transparent. We’re going to be direct. We’re going to be honest, no PC, no identity politics, no cancel culture. That works against everything that I’ve learned about our democracy.”

“It’s the strength of our democracy is direct, honest communications and direct and honest efforts to solve the complex problems that our country is facing now and in the future,” he added.

The North Carolina Republican said his priorities as senator would include border protection, supporting the military, keeping taxes at affordable rates, prioritizing health care — particularly mental health care and drug addiction — and looking out for blue-collar workers.

McCrory served as Charlotte mayor for 14 years before becoming governor in 2013. He ran for reelection in 2016 and lost to now-Gov. Roy Cooper (D) by a razor-thin margin of about 10,000 votes, or 0.2 percent.

The battleground state’s primary race marks a political comeback opportunity for McCrory in a competitive atmosphere that so far includes one other candidate, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). Potential contenders include Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), who has said he is mulling the idea but has not made a decision, former Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R), and Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of and former adviser to former President Donald Trump.

One recent poll obtained by the Hill showed Lara Trump leading by double digits in a hypothetical eight-way primary, followed by Robinson, then McCrory. Another, conducted for McCrory and obtained by Politico, however, excluded Lara Trump and showed McCrory ahead of Walker and Budd in a potential three-way race.

Some have speculated that Lara Trump joining Fox News as a contributor last month may indicate she does not intend to run, while others, as reported by the Hill, have pointed to the new role as an ideal platform for her to elevate her profile.

Democrats vying for the seat so far include state Sen. Jeff Jackson and former state Sen. Erica Smith.

Write to Ashley Oliver at


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