Lara Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law, may be the next member of the family whose name appears on a ballot. According to a recent report from The New York Times, Trump is reportedly considering a Senate run in her home state of North Carolina. The outlet cites three allies who allege that Trump has been telling associates she could run in 2022 to replace Sen. Richard Burr, who has said he will not seek reelection after more than 15 years in office.
At this time, Trump has declined to comment on her alleged plans to run in 2022. It has already been suggested that Rep. Mark Walker may run for Burr's seat. The president has suggested he'd support Walker. Other potential candidates, according to The Times, include White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Gov. Pat McCrory, North Carolina Speaker Tim Moore, and Republican nominee for governor Dan Forest. Should she run, however, Trump "would be formidable," according to former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
"She has the trifecta: She can raise money, raise awareness of key issues and raise attention to her race," Conway told the Times. "Unlike many typical politicians, she connects with people and is a compelling messenger."
Trump, who married Eric Trump in 2014, formerly worked as a producer for Inside Edition, a TV news magazine. She left that position in 2016 to serve as a campaign adviser for the president, a role she held amid his 2020 run as well. Insider reports that Trump started the "Trump-Pence Women's Empowerment Tour" and also started a web program called Real News Update. Amid the 2020 election cycle, Trump had spoken at the Republican National Convention and made numerous campaign stops on the president's behalf in North Carolina.
Mercedes Schlapp, a Trump campaign adviser who traveled with Trump, said that she is "very charismatic" with "a natural instinct for politics." According to Schlapp, Trump is already "a household name" in North Carolina, and "people know her… She worked really hard on the campaign and was very involved in a lot of decisions throughout."
Regardless of whether Trump runs or not, the 2022 North Carolina Senate race is already shaping up to be a tight one. Although the state is historically Republican and again favored the president this year over his Democratic challenger, North Carolina has begun to emerge as a battleground. This year, the president won the state by just 1.3 percentage points, suggesting that North Carolina could flip blue and the Senate race will be tight.