Lara Trump eyes North Carolina Senate seat in 2022, will she be the first Trump after Donald in public office?
Lara Trump, the wife of President Donald Trump's second son Eric, could be the first member from the business-political family after Donald Trump to take part in electoral battles. According to The New York Times, the 38-year-old television professional and a campaign adviser to the incumbent has told some of her associates that she is considering a run for the Senate from North Carolina, her home state, in 2022.
Lara has already found backers to her plan. Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who stepped down months before the November 3 election that Trump lost to Joe Biden, told the Times that Lara would be formidable.
“She has the trifecta: She can raise money, raise awareness of key issues and raise attention to her race. Unlike many typical politicians, she connects with people and is a compelling messenger,” Conway, who ran Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016, said.
Another Trump aide Mercedes Schlapp also backed Lara’s idea of running for the Senate seat. She called the latter charismatic and held that she has a natural instinct for politics. “In North Carolina, in particular, she's a household name and people know her. She worked really hard on the campaign and was very involved in a lot of decisions throughout,” the 47-year-old Schlapp said.
Lara Trump's run will not be easy
A seat in the Senate from North Carolina is set to be vacant as its Republican incumbent Richard Burr, who has been serving since 2005, announced in 2016 that he will step down at the end of his term which is due in two years. It will not be a cakewalk for Lara as a number of big names from the GOP are also harboring hopes to succeed 64-year-old Burr.
Some of them even have the support of Trump. For example, Mark Walker, one of the president’s allies who currently represents the Tar Heel state’s 6th District in the House, has also expressed interest in running for the Senate seat and Trump hinted at supporting his bid.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows could also be in the fray. Meadows was a representative from NC’s 11th District before joining the administration. According to the Times, former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, Speaker of the state’s House of Representatives Tim Moore and Dan Forest, who lost to current Democratic Governor Roy Cooper in this year’s gubernatorial election, are also considering a run.
North Carolina though has continued to be dominated by the Republicans, the Democrats have narrowed the gap over the years to tilt it towards becoming a competitive state. Trump won it for the second time this year but the smaller margin showed the state is trending more blue of late and it could be an indicator that the first election after Trump’s departure could see a tight contest.
Lara put up a strong campaign for President Trump in this year’s election, defended him and even mocked Biden’s stuttering at times, inviting a backlash. Born in North Carolina’s Wilmington as Lara Lea Yunaska, Lara worked as a personal trainer and television producer for Inside Edition and wed Eric, who is two years younger than her, in 2014 at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago estate.
Ever since, she has played an active role in Trump’s presidential campaigns. The duo has two children, aged three and one. Lara could be a surprise package as far as the Trump family's political engagement is concerned since the observers were more of the opinion that Trump's daughter Ivanka and oldest son Donald Trump Jr could make the earliest forays into politics.