ADVANCE, N.C. – Rep. Ted Budd, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is good to his word. During a campaign stop in Greensboro on Friday, he said if former President Donald Trump wanted to campaign for him, he “welcomed him into the state.” That’s going to happen: On Sept. 23 in Wilmington.
Budd’s campaign announced the campaign event on Wednesday morning. A separate announcement from Trump said it would be at 7 p.m., but there were no details about the venue.
Budd (R-Advance), who represents the 13th Congressional District, is mired in a very close race with Democrat Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Libertarian Shannon Bray and Green Party Candidate Matthew Hoh also are in the race.
Budd and Beasley last week agreed to a debate in early October, but there has been no firm date set for that. Recent polls have had them in virtually a dead heat.
Budd emerged as an easy winner in the GOP primary over former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker and 11 others largely because of Trump’s endorsement last year. But Budd in recent weeks has adjusted his website to downplay that relationship with Trump.
“President Donald Trump’s commitment to protecting and promoting American jobs grew our economy and created more and better opportunities for all Americans,” Budd said in a statement released by his spokesperson. “President Trump carried North Carolina twice and Amy Kate and I are thrilled he’s heading back to our great state to get folks fired up as our campaign accelerates into the final stretch.
“And, in the spirit of bipartisanship, we would also welcome Joe Biden to come campaign early and often for Cheri Beasley and personally, and publicly, thank her for supporting his disastrous economic policies.”
Trump had scheduled a rally in Greensboro earlier this year but later canceled it. That event has not been rescheduled.
Trump is mired in numerous investigations and controversies, including his having highly classified documents at his country club home in Florida and his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election based on unfounded election claims, which led to hundreds being arrested for an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. There also are investigations into his business practices.
Budd had said on Friday that he only wanted “transparency” in the investigations into Trump’s activities.
“Does Congressman Budd still believe that the violent rioters who injured more than 130 police officers after Trump incited them to storm the US Capitol on January 6th were ‘just patriots standing up?’” Dory MacMillan, Beasley’s spokesperson, wrote in an email to WGHP.
Republicans have suggested that Beasley is not campaigning alongside Biden because many hold him responsible for high inflation. She didn’t attend an appearance by him in Greensboro earlier this year. Beasley has said she welcomes Biden but cited scheduling conflicts on those appearances.
Neither did she accompany Vice President Kamala Harris in Durham or first lady Jill Biden in Greensboro, either.