Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has endorsed former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as a senatorial candidate for North Carolina.
Graham said incumbent Sen. Richard Burr’s vote to convict Trump in his Senate impeachment trial ensured that she will emerge as the frontrunner to replace him if she enters the race.
“The biggest winner, I think, of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“My dear friend Richard Burr — who I like and have been friends to a long time — just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs,” he said.
Graham added that “I’ll certainly be behind her because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party.”
Burr’s Senate seat is up for grabs in the 2022 midterms. When he ran for re-election in 2016, he confirmed that he would not seek a fourth term.
Burr was among seven GOP senators who voted with Democrats to convict Trump of “inciting an insurrection” when his supporters participated in a mostly peaceful Jan. 6 march on Capitol Hill.
Even though Democrats now control the Senate, they failed to get the requisite two-thirds majority (or 67 votes) to convict Trump.
In the end, the vote was split 57-43 — largely along party lines — after seven Republicans voted with the Democrats. Not surprisingly, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was among the GOP defectors.
The failed impeachment stunt wasted time and taxpayer money, but it also galvanized Trump supporters, many of whom have rejected the establishment GOP, whom they feel did not do enough to defend Trump or fight for election integrity.
Right now, the party is splintered between those who want to move past Trump and those who believe he’s the party’s current — and future — leader.
Lara Trump, the wife of the former president’s son Eric, previously suggested that she might run for senator in her home state.
She was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and graduated from North Carolina State University. The 38-year-old was a senior adviser to her father-in-law’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
A December 2020 poll of North Carolina Republicans and Republican-leaning independents showed her as the frontrunner in the 2022 Republican Senate primary.
Wow, very nice! Thank you! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/atgZW87cOj
— Lara Trump (@LaraLeaTrump) December 9, 2020
However, Lara Trump has maintained a low profile since late January and has not reacted to speculation about her possible entry into politics.
Meanwhile, Republican Senate candidate Mark Walker of North Carolina dismissed Graham’s prediction that Trump would easily win if she ran.
Walker, a former congressman, is the only major Republican to have announced his candidacy for Senate.
“In the words of I believe it was John Ashcroft, Lindsey is always confident but not always right,” Walker said Monday on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
On Twitter, Walker condemned Burr for voting to convict Trump and noted that he still stands with the former president.
Please consider supporting my campaign here: ➡️ https://t.co/2wk7jitdRg
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) February 13, 2021
At this point, the future of the flailing GOP is up for grabs. So buckle your seatbelts. No matter what happens, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
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