Trump's visit to Selma expected to make big splash in NC midterm elections

8 April 2022

— Former president Donald Trump’s rally in Selma on Saturday is expected to be significant for both the state and national Republican Party.

The rally will be about five weeks before North Carolina’s primary elections, and Trump has thrown his support behind candidates in some key Republican races, including the U.S. Senate race, where he endorsed current U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.

North Carolina U.S. Senate GOP Candidates

“[Trump] wants to say, ‘look, I have endorsed the winners. And so if you stand with me, I will endorse you down the road,'” said David McLennan, political science professor at Meredith College. “It’s very important for President Trump to pick people in North Carolina. If Republicans do well in North Carolina, they could eventually take back both chambers of Congress.”

The seat up for grabs has been held U.S. Sen. Richard Burr since 2005.

Trump announced his endorsement for Budd last summer after his daughter-in-law Lara Trump declined to enter the state’s Senate race.

“I am giving him my complete and total endorsement. We’re going to work with him, campaign with him. You can’t pick people that have already lost two races and do not stand for our values,” Trump said during his endorsement, taking a dig at former governor Pat McCrory who is running against Budd.

'I voted' sticker

McLennan believes that the former president’s visit will fuel enthusiasm among voters for the midterm elections.

“He may or may not be drawing the crowds he did when he was running for president in 2016 or 2020. But he still can turn out a crowd,” McLennan said. “It’s also significant for former President Trump who wants to continue to be relevant as he looks down the road to 2024.”

Other candidates being endorsed in the upcoming elections will also be at the rally, including Rep. Madison Cawthorn and 26-year-old political newcomer Bo Hines.

Bo Hines Headshot

Trump endorsed first-time candidate Hines in the eight-way GOP primary in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, which includes Johnston County.

Members of the North Carolina Democratic Party plan to speak on Friday morning about special interests that are funding North Carolina’s midterm elections. Floyd McKissick, vice chair of the party, and Liz Beck, a Johnston County parent, will speak at the press conference at 11 a.m.

Trump North Carolina

The rally will be held at a wedding venue called “The Farm at 95” at 7 p.m. Trump rallied at the same venue in Selma six years ago when he first began his campaign for president.

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