Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., is taking his case and the endorsement of former President Donald Trump to the November Senate midterm election, winning the GOP primary Tuesday night.
Decision Desk HQ projected Budd the winner at 7:47 p.m., just 17 minutes after polls closed.
Budd defeated former Gov. Pat McCrory to succeed retiring Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Budd will face Democrat Cheri Beasley in North Carolina's Senate race after both easily clinched primary victories Tuesday night.
Budd had the endorsement of Trump and his victory is a boost for the former president, who is looking to reshape a new generation of Republicans. Beasley, a former state supreme court justice, won her 11-candidate primary. If she prevails in November, Beasley would be the state's first Black senator.
Trump ally Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., a first-term Republican congressman who has frustrated his party's leaders with a series of self-inflicted scandals, hopes to fend off a challenge in the House primary from state Sen. Chuck Edwards, but he trailed by 8 points with 66% of the votes reported.
You can follow the latest election results here.
Cawthorn, at 26 the House's youngest member, has claimed that conservative leaders invited him to a cocaine-fueled orgy, attempted twice to bring a gun onto a plane and was forced to defend his conduct after a video surfaced that showed him nude and gyrating against someone.
More than 580,000 North Carolina voters had already cast their ballots in person or by mail, nearly twice as many as four years ago, according to the state Board of Elections. Those voters returned slightly more Democrat than Republican ballots.
Trump has endorsed more than 150 candidates as he tries to solidify his status as his party's kingmaker, though his picks have not always prevailed. His support helped author J.D. Vance win the Ohio Senate primary, but his favored candidate lost in Nebraska's gubernatorial race last week.
Trump, who narrowly won the state's electoral votes in 2016 and 2020, gave his endorsement to Budd nearly a year ago and benefited from millions of dollars spent by the Club for Growth Action super PAC used to praise him and brand McCrory as too liberal.
McCrory criticized Budd for failing to participate in televised debates and accused the super PAC of trying to buy an election for Budd.
McCrory, a moderate within the state GOP, signed laws while governor that cut taxes and extended abortion waiting periods to 72 hours. He is best known nationally for signing a "bathroom bill" that restricted access for transgender people in 2016 and cost the state billions.
Follow all the results live as they roll in tonight here.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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