White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who represented far-western North Carolina in the U.S House, said Friday he would not run for U.S. Senate in 2022.
Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, has said he would not run for a fourth term in 2022, creating an open U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina for the first time since 2004 that is likely to attract a crowd of candidates.
Meadows, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, moved to the Trump administration earlier this year. He has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for the seat.
“I love the people of North Carolina. But I not only have no plans, I have no intentions to run for the Senate in 2022,” Meadows said in a phone call.
“I’ve had a number of people talk about running for that seat, if indeed Sen. Burr retires. My conversations have included some of the sitting House members as well as Lara Trump, and, to my knowledge, no one’s made a definitive decision on whether to toss their hat in the ring or not. But in terms of my hat, it won’t be in the ring.”
Lara Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, is considering a run, The New York Times reported Thursday. Lara Trump is from Wilmington and graduated from N.C. State.
Meadows was one of Trump’s top allies in the U.S. House and throughout the impeachment process. In his chief of staff role, Meadows was at Trump’s side during the president’s battle with coronavirus and hospital stay. Meadows tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after the Nov. 3 election. He has returned to work.
Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis won reelection in November to a second term, defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham in the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history.
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