Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and campaign surrogate, is reportedly considering running for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina in 2022. According to the New York Times, Ms. Trump’s allies say she has been telling associates that she’s interested in the seat, which will soon be vacated by Senator Richard Burr, who has said he plans to retire. It will be the first time there has been open Senate seat in the state since 2004.
Trump, 38, is the first and only member of the Trump clan to signal their intentions for a post-President Trump political future. The former Inside Edition producer is originally from North Carolina, but currently resides in Westchester, New York, with the president’s son, Eric, whom she married in 2014, and their two children. She most recently worked as an adviser for the Trump campaign, and was a frequent surrogate for the president on television and at rallies this year, including many in North Carolina. Thus far, there doesn’t appear to be much daylight between her and her father-in-law politically. Before and after the election, she has echoed the president’s rhetoric attempting to undermine the integrity of the results.
While President Trump will undoubtedly retain considerable clout in the Republican Party after he leaves office, it remains to be seen how valuable the Trump name will be politically for his family members. The president narrowly won North Carolina this year (by 1.3 percent), and his Senate ally Thom Tillis held off Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham as well, but the swing state could prove to be difficult terrain for Ms. Trump, despite her name recognition and potential to raise money from the MAGA faithful. The open seat will draw a lot of national attention and resources from both parties, and as the Times points out, Lara Trump would have some serious local competition from GOP candidates with a lot more political experience, potentially including another Trump-world stalwart:
There’s Representative Mark Walker, a Trump ally whom the president has encouraged to run for Mr. Burr’s seat, and indicated he would support. There’s Pat McCrory, the former governor, who has said he is eyeing the seat. Tim Moore, the North Carolina Speaker of the House, is said to be in the mix. And Dan Forest, who just lost a race for governor against the Democratic incumbent, Roy Cooper, is expected to be in the field.
And then there is another contender from the president’s inner circle, at least as it stands at the moment: Mark Meadows, the former North Carolina representative and White House chief of staff, is widely expected to move back home and run for the seat as well. Aides to Mr. Meadows declined to comment about his political future.
On the other hand, whoever wins the GOP primary in the state will have a built-in advantage, since midterm elections typically favor the party that doesn’t occupy the White House.