Beasley wins Democratic nod in North Carolina Senate primary

Former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley is projected to coast to victory on Tuesday in the state’s Democratic Senate primary.

The Associated Press called the race at 7:47 p.m. ET.

Heading into Tuesday, Beasley was seen as the overwhelming favorite to capture her party’s Senate nomination. She faced only nominal competition in the primary after her top opponent, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, suspended his campaign late last year and endorsed Beasley’s bid.

Another well-known candidate, former state Sen. Erica Smith, also exited the Senate race last year to run instead for the House seat of retiring Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).

Beasley’s win sets her up to take on the eventual Republican nominee in a key battleground state that Democrats see as one of a few promising opportunities to flip a GOP-held seat this year.

With the nomination under her belt, Beasley will face Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) in the November general election. Budd, who scored former President Donald Trump’s endorsement last year, clinched the Republican Senate nomination on Tuesday, defeating former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

It wasn’t only Trump’s endorsement that helped Budd across the finish line on Tuesday. He benefited from the support of the conservative Club for Growth, which poured more than $11 million into the primary to boost his prospects.

Still, flipping Burr’s Senate seat won’t be easy for Democrats. Trump carried the state twice in 2016 and 2020, albeit by relatively narrow margins. More broadly, Democrats are facing strong political and historical headwinds this year that threaten to erode their already paper-thin Senate majority.

Nevertheless, Democrats see Beasley as perhaps their best hope to win North Carolina, believing that she may be able to energize the party’s voters in a year when Democratic enthusiasm is running low. She has also won statewide office twice before – once in 2014 and again in 2020.

Beasley is also heading into the general election with a solid cash advantage over either of her likely Republican rivals. At the end of April, Beasley’s campaign reported having nearly $3.3 million in the bank, compared to about $1.1 million for Budd and $1.4 million for McCrory. 

Tags Cheri Beasley Cheri Beasley Donald Trump Erica Smith Jeff Jackson North Carolina Senate Race Pat McCrory Richard Burr Ted Budd

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