Ted Budd, a Republican favored by former President Donald Trump, defeated former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in the state’s GOP primary on Tuesday night.
The Federalist reported that Budd, a U.S. representative, was snubbed by corporate media, including The New York Times, for currying Trump and other key GOP politician’s favor by skipping all four Republican primary debates, advocating for election integrity, and catching the attention of “major outside spending” groups that poured millions into promoting Trump’s nomination.
Despite the criticism, Budd, who ran on a platform of combating the ideological left, won the state decisively on Tuesday night and will face Democrat Cheri Beasley, the former state Supreme Court chief judge, in the November midterm elections.
Budd’s closest primary opponent, McCrory, only carried the county surrounding Charlottesville, where he served as mayor from 1995 to 2009.
McCrory’s election loss on Tuesday was not his first. He has already lost two statewide elections, notably in 2016, when he failed to retain his governorship despite Trump’s sweeping victory in the usually red state.
After losing, McCrory declined to support Budd on Tuesday night, claiming he needed “assurances from current leaders in my state party that I haven’t been cancelled” as a Republican in the state. He previously stated that endorsements were created for weak candidates.
“The left branded me a radical, right-wing extremist six years ago, and now my own party calls me a liberal RINO,” McCrory stated on MSNBC.
Trump’s criticism of McCrory’s “Republican In Name Only” approach, on the other hand, contributed greatly to his defeat in the primary battle, according to McCrory.
“There’s no doubt that when President Trump stated the following to me in the audience at our state Republican convention, I didn’t represent our ideals. ‘Boy, something has changed here,’ I remember thinking as I sat at the table. And perhaps that is correct; perhaps I do not represent President Trump’s views,” McCrory concluded.
Later in the conversation, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd responded, “I’m old enough to remember when you, when a Republican like yourself can become the mayor of Charlotte.”
The GOP establishment, as well as the progressive Squad, lost steam in the North Carolina primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Squad members Rep. Primala Jayapal, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib endorsed Nida Allam in her primary representative race, but she lost to Democrat state Sen. Valerie Foushee.