9 April 2022
Selma, N.C. — North Carolina’s top Republican executive officeholder on Saturday threw his support behind Rep. Ted Budd’s bid for U.S. Senate.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, made the announcement at a rally in Selma a couple hours before former President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak.
“I throw all of my weight and all of my support behind Rep. Ted Budd, who is going to be the next senator from North Carolina,” Robinson said. “Back in 2018 when I met Congressman Budd, he stood as one of the people I admired most in this because he was an individual who never compromised his beliefs. He stood strong as a conservative, and he’s a strong Christian.”
Budd thanked the lieutenant governor for his support, noting the man widely expected to run for governor in 2024 would be a good fit for that office.
“Mark Robinson, ladies and genetlmen, our next governor of North Carolina,” Budd exclaimed. “What an introduction by a great friend, somebody that I deeply admire.”
In June 2021, Trump threw his support behind Budd over former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Budd is also backed by Club for Growth Action, an influential Washington, D.C., political action committee that has already spent more than $8.4 million this election cycle to boost Budd.
On the campaign trail, Walker has often touted his support for Robinson and praiseworthy comments the lieutenant goverrnor had expressed for him.
Walker’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Robinson’s decision to back Budd, who has climbed up the ladder in recent weeks. Public opinion polls released this week show Budd with a double-digit lead over McCrory and even further ahead of Walker.
In his speech at Trump’s rally on Saturday, Robinson urged Republicans to coalesce around a candidate in what has been a highly divisive U.S. Senate GOP primary.
“In this Senate race that we have today, our party needs to come together,” Robinson said. “We need to join together and make sure that we could send a strong, principled conservative candidate to Washington, that we could push him through this primary and blast him past his Democratic opponent in the general election.”