Olivia Hille headshot

With Sen. Richard Burr ending his last term as a North Carolina senator in 2022, the seat now opens up for new senators seeking individuals to run. Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, has hinted at her interest in running in the 2022 election for the Senate seat. Now with former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Rep. Ted Budd and Lara Trump voicing interest in replacing Burr’s seat in Congress, there are three big names in the race that will surely bring lots of attention from the GOP.  

As a North Carolina native, Trump got her undergraduate education right here at NC State. More recently, however, she has been a frequent panelist on Fox News. In a recent lawsuit involving Fox News host Tucker Carlson, it was stated by lawyers for Fox News that the nightly host does not state facts and that no one would reasonably believe him. As a North Carolina native and NC State graduate, it's hard to believe that Lara Trump comes from a very similar geographic background to many NC State students and would still end up being in such close proximity to conspiracy and discredibility.

Due to the fact that Lara Trump has not even lived in North Carolina for more than a decade, even the GOP seems hesitant to move on with her as a candidate. Even with the fascination with the Trump name, it may not be in the best interest to run someone that is so connected to horrifying scandals, especially conspiracies of election fraud and egging on an insurrection that put our elected legislature at risk. 

No matter her hesitancy for running in 2022, there's no lack of support for Lara Trump. With the Trump name and her media presence, she is known nationally and holds a lead over many of the other candidates without stating if she will run or not. This is concerning to say the least. Not only does she hold so much power for simply being a part of her father-in-law's election, but that anyone else, especially a moderate, would be able to challenge her if she announced her running. 

It is obvious how much clout the Trump name gets. For many of us, especially at NC State and in the political science department, it’s continuously disheartening how much overwhelming support this one family has gained. Would it be better to have Lara Trump, an inexperienced policymaker, in a seat as more of a figurehead for Republicans looking to replace Burr? Or Pat McCrory, a well-versed GOP politician who avidly spoke about his support for former President Donald Trump? Or Rep. Ted Budd, who has also recently expressed his interest in the opening seat? 

Truly, it's hard to tell which would end better for the voters. Lara Trump is likely to mirror similar tactics to her father-in-law: explosive and expressive, gathering up the votes of hard right-wingers and those who idolize the Trump name. It's hard to bring any good light to the situation when a Trump is involved, especially with new lawsuits and cases being consistently brought against the former president's family. Nonetheless, there’s still growing support for Lara Trump in our state while we wait for her decision in the coming months.