Ted Budd Launches North Carolina Senate Bid, Campaigning on ‘Freedom, Capitalism, and Putting America First’

CORRECTS DATE TO NOV. 6, INSTEAD OF NOV. 5 - U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., speaks to supporters in Bermuda Run, N.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, after defeating Kathy Manning in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District race. (AP Photo/Woody Marshall)
Woody Marshall/AP Photo

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) announced Wednesday he will run for U.S. Senate in North Carolina to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

Budd, a gun store owner from Davie County, released a video of the announcement that detailed his positions on issues and prominently featured him campaigning alongside former President Donald Trump.

“I’m 100 percent pro-life, and I even think that elections should be fair and secure,” Budd says in the video. “I’m a political outsider who can’t be bought by the swamp, and I don’t give a riff about their Washington games. I’ve shoveled a lot of manure on my family’s farm, and it’s not the dirtiest job I’ve ever had, now that I’ve been in Congress”:

“We homeschooled our kids before it was cool,” Budd continued. “We even read Dr. Seuss to them, and they turned out just fine. I believe in freedom, capitalism, and putting America first, and that whole defund the police thing is crazy.”

Budd kicked off his campaign in the battleground state with an immediate endorsement from the Club for Growth political action committee, which supported Budd’s initial 2016 campaign for Congress, as well as his reelection campaigns in 2018 and 2020. In Club for Growth’s endorsement announcement, the group highlighted that candidates it backed in 2020 won more than 80 percent of the time.

Budd told Breitbart News during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year in Orlando that he had been mulling a Senate bid and expressed confidence in Republicans’ ability to take back their majorities in Congress in 2022. Democrats “are making it easy for us to win in 2022 but really painful up until then,” Budd said.

Watch the full interview below:

Matthew Perdie, Jack Knudsen

The primary race is shaping up to be competitive as former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) have also formally launched their own Senate campaigns, while speculation remains surrounding the possibility of Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of and former adviser to Donald Trump, running, though Lara Trump herself has not publicly indicated if she intends to jump in the race.

Walker released a statement upon Budd’s announcement saying, “I welcome my friend Congressman Ted Budd to the race to serve as our great state’s next Senator. All conservatives in North Carolina must stand together so we do not elect another establishment politician to the Senate who says one thing when running and does another when elected.”

Democrats vying for the seat include state Sen. Jeff Jackson, former state Sen. Erica Smith, and former state Chief Justice Cheri Beasley who just announced her bid Tuesday.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com.

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