With the war in Ukraine raging, political candidates in the U.S. are talking about the crisis.
What You Need To Know
N.C. primary election is May 17
Republican candidates include former Gov. Pat McCrory, Rep. Ted Budd and former Rep. Mark Walker
Democrat Cheri Beasley’s leading Democratic opponents have dropped out of the race
Former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory released his first television ad last week criticizing fellow Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Ted Budd for how he recently described Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Budd called Putin “intelligent” but also called him “evil” and said he was “quite erratic” in his handling of Ukraine.
In a statement to Spectrum News, Budd’s Senior Adviser Jonathan Felts said Budd “never praised Putin, he simply presented a level-headed assessment of a foreign crisis, something you would expect from a U.S. senator.”
Davidson College politics Professor Susan Roberts said the war in Ukraine could be a focal point in the primary.
“I think the American people … are really going to remember, at least for a while, maybe not in the long run, where they’ve come out on the situation, the war in Ukraine,” Roberts said.
One person who’s trying to tip the scale in the senate race is former President Donald Trump, who’s been criticized for not being hard enough on Putin.
Trump endorsed Budd in the primary.
But it hasn’t had a major impact on fundraising.
While Budd’s campaign said it did raise more than McCrory last quarter, the increase wasn’t overwhelming.
Former GOP Rep. Mark Walker on the other hand, who was hoping for Trump’s endorsement, has struggled to raise money.
Budd, McCrory and Walker have gotten the most attention in the race while political newcomer Marjorie Eastman has also raised a significant amount of money.
There’s been a lack of polling from groups not affiliated with the candidates, so it’s hard to get a good read of where they stack up.
“The primary voters may have their mind made up already, but I actually don’t think so. I think it’s going to be the last month,” Roberts said.
Meanwhile, former N.C. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has been watching the Republican primary play out from afar. She has managed to clear the field of her leading Democratic opponents, including former state Sen. Jeff Jackson and former state Sen. Erica Smith, who are now both running in U.S. House races in the state.