2022 Election: What to watch for in North Carolina's primary
Trump made bold endorsements in backing celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina. The once little-known Budd is now in a strong position to win the Republican nomination, but Oz is locked in a tight primary against a former hedge fund CEO and a community activist. The primaries follow a resounding win in Ohio's May 3 contest by Trump's Senate candidate, JD Vance.
In Congress, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is trying to survive a Republican primary in North Carolina after a turbulent first term in office.
Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon will also hold primary elections on Tuesday. Here's what to watch for in North Carolina:
Trump is trying to sway races for U.S. Senate and House in North Carolina, a state he won twice, but narrowly.
Trump endorsed Budd for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Richard Burr, surprising many at last year's state GOP convention. Budd's top competitors in the 11-way primary are former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who had actively sought Trump’s support, and former Gov. Pat McCrory, who is considered a moderate in the race but is best known nationally for signing a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people in 2016 that cost the state billions.
On the Democratic side, Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, has appeared to clear her 11-person field of significant rivals. She would be North Carolina’s first Black U.S. senator if she wins in November.
In congressional races, Trump’s endorsement of Cawthorn in the 11th District didn't stop establishment figures from opposing the 26-year-old first-term congressman.
Unforced political and personal errors by Cawthorn — a speaker at the “Stop the Steal” rally before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol — have made him vulnerable in an eight-candidate GOP primary. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has endorsed state legislator Chuck Edwards in the race.
Trump, in a post on his social media site Truth Social overnight Monday, urged voters to give Cawthorn “a second chance,” acknowledging the candidate had recently made some “foolish mistakes.”
In two Democratic-leaning districts, Democrats are holding robust primaries for the nominations to succeed the retiring Rep. David Price in the 4th District and Rep. G.K. Butterfield in the 1st District. Former “American Idol” star Clay Aiken is among the Democratic candidates running for Price's seat.
In the open 13th District, considered a toss-up in November, the Republican field includes Bo Hines, a former college football player endorsed by Trump.
Tuesday’s primary may not be the final word for would-be nominees: First-place candidates must get more than 30% of the vote to avoid a July 26 runoff.