U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, from North Carolina, is backing former President Donald Trump as he seeks the GOP nomination for the third time.
Budd, a freshman in the U.S. Senate, replaced longtime former U.S. Sen. Richard Burr after winning a contentious three-way GOP Primary against former Gov. Pat McCrory and former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and going on to beat former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley in the General Election.
Budd’s Primary victory last year was largely attributed to Trump’s endorsement in the race.
Budd announced he was returning the favor to Breitbart News Thursday.
“Just a few years ago America was strong, but now under Joe Biden, we are a nation in decline,” Budd said in a statement to the conservative outlet. “Our economy is faltering, our wide-open southern border is tragically wrecking lives, and our country’s power and influence in the world is diminished.”
Conversely, he added, that under Trump “our economy saw record-setting growth, and families were starting to get ahead.”
“Neighborhoods were safer. Across the globe, we were achieving peace. We were respected by allies and feared by enemies. That’s why I endorse Donald J. Trump for President. Hardworking, everyday families need a return of the America First agenda to restore prosperity and peace,” Budd said.
Budd is not the first U.S. Senator to back the former President. U.S. Sens. J.D. Vance, Markwayne Mullin, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Eric Schmitt, Tommy Tuberville and Lindsey Graham have all also offered their backing.
The endorsement comes as the GOP field of presidential contenders is just coming into full focus. Former South Carolina Gov. and former Ambassador in the Trump administration Nikki Haley has officially announced her bid for the GOP nomination. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Perry Johnson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have all also declared. Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, is also considered a likely candidate.
South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has launched an exploratory committee as he determines whether or not to run.
But for now, Trump’s toughest competition is coming from a candidate who hasn’t yet made it official — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. But several members of Florida’s congressional delegation have already announced their support for Trump, including U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds, Anna Paulina Luna, Matt Gaetz and Cory Mills.