After the U.S. Senate failed to get the number of votes needed to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection, his close ally, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, was on Fox News to declare Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, the heiress apparent to the Trump political legacy. Graham told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, “The biggest winner, I think, of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump. My dear friend Richard Burr — who I like and have been friends to a long time — just made Lara Trump almost a certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him” (via People). Burr made waves at the end of the impeachment trial because he had voted to find Trump guilty of inciting the January 6 insurrection (via CNN). Burr plans to retire next year (via Newsweek).
If, in fact, Lara Trump is to become the face of the Republican Party, she may have to rethink her position on seeking public office because, as The New York Times reports, the insurrection has made the thought less palatable. Still, the door was left open for a Lara Trump run. A senior party official says Lara would take the next few months to decide whether she would seek election, as “part of a Trump family comeback.”
Lara Trump has plenty to think about before she decides to run
Lara Trump has plenty of factors to consider. The New York Times points out that she needs to deal with the question of residency, since she now lives in New York City with Eric and their two children. Representing North Carolina means Lara would have to move back to the state where she grew up.
She also has to contend with the idea of jockeying for position in a potentially crowded field, since three Republicans have already expressed interest in wanting to fill Barr’s seat. These are former Representative Mark Walker, former Governor Pat McCrory, and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Mark Brody, a member of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times, “We are going to take a very long look at all the candidates versus, you know, some kind of coronation.”
She might also consider the Trump name to be political kryptonite, particularly after the January 6 insurrection. After all, her father-in-law only won the state of North Carolina by 1.3 percentage points during the hotly contested November 3 elections (via AP).
Lara Trump wouldn't be a shoo-in in North Carolina
Lara Trump will need to assess her chances for victory. Ferrel Guillory, professor of the practice of journalism at the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media, points out that while the Republicans may have won 11 out of 13 presidential elections between 1968 to 2016 in North Carolina, with the exception of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, Democrats won 9 out of 13 elections for governor of the state. Like many parts of the country, North Carolina is seeing a rise of coalitions battling for a stronger voice. In addition, North Carolina has seen a big increase in its population, largely from people moving there from other states. (via EdNC).
But the Trump brand could still carry weight, particularly among the former president’s loyalists. Republican Representative Patrick McHenry already proclaimed Lara Trump to be a favorite to win if she runs, thanks to the advantages of name recognition and a well-funded campaign.
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