The late September Trump rally in Wilmington signaled North Carolina GOP Senate nominee Ted Budd’s full embrace of the MAGA movement – a movement that several high-profile U.S. Republican candidates across the country have attempted to distance themselves from due to its highly extremist and controversial policies.
For Budd, who has avoided the spotlight in our state despite running for a high ticket seat, the eager welcome of Trump and his supporters is not too off-brand.
Budd has made numerous headlines for his controversial anti-abortion stance, voting to overturn the 2020 election, and hinting at denying the results of the 2022 midterm elections.
Budd also voted against funding for child abuse prevention services, addressing the infant formula shortage, and initially voted against a bill to expand health care and benefits for veterans.
Time and again, Budd has shown to North Carolinians that he will walk hand-in-hand with extremism, particularly with Trump, who faces numerous lawsuits over spreading false claims about the 2020 elections, fraudulent finances, and unpaid taxes, among many others.
With footage of QAnon salute and an allusion by Trump to a racial slur, Budd’s appearance at the Wilmington rally speaks to his acceptance of extremist behavior and a legitimizing of those who engaged in it.
With just a few weeks out from the midterm elections, North Carolina voters must ask whether Budd’s loyalty is to Trumpism or to the interests of those across our state.