Reports have indicated the former president's daughter-in-law may be mulling a Senate run in the Tar Heel state

By Virginia Chamlee
February 15, 2021 02:48 PM
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Lindsey Graham, Lara Trump
Lindsey Graham (left), Lara Trump
| Credit: Alex Wong/Getty; Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Sen. Lindsey Graham predicts Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump may serve as future of the Republican Party.

Lara, 38, is married to the former president's son Eric Trump and has been rumored to be considering a Senate run out of her home state North Carolina.

Graham, a fierce Trump ally, told Fox News Sunday he believes Lara is now a near shoo-in to run for a seat after North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr voted to convict Trump on his impeachment charge this past Saturday.

The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump of his "incitement of insurrection" charge by the House of Representatives, related to last month's U.S. Capitol attack, by a 57-43 vote. But Graham said Trump wasn't the person who benefitted the most from Saturday's vote, which saw seven Republican senators join 50 Democratic lawmakers in voting in favor of his conviction.

"The biggest winner, I think, of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump," Graham, 65, told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. "My dear friend Richard Burr — who I like and have been friends to a long time —just made Lara Trump almost a certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him."

Graham added: "If she runs, I certainly will be behind her, because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party."

RNC2020
Lara Trump
| Credit: RNC2020

Burr, 65, has already said he won't seek re-election in 2022, according to The Charlotte Observer. Still, the senator's vote in favor of convicting Trump has boosted earlier reports about Lara's potential bid to fill his seat come the next election.

According to a New York Times report, earlier discussions about Lara launching a North Carolina Senate campaign were halted following the Jan. 6 riot, with a senior Republican official telling the newspaper the deadly pro-Trump attack on the Capitol building had "soured her desire to seek office."

Trump's acquittal, however, may have re-sparked his family's interest in politics.

John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster, told the Times he doesn't believe Lara's name recognition would pay off in a campaign, however. "There is a myth that Trump voters will come out for Trump candidates or family members," Anzalone said. "Cult members only come out in full force for the cult leader."

Lara graduated from high school in Wilmington, N.C. and attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, according to the Times. She currently lives in New York, however, with Eric and their two young children and would have to move back to North Carolina in order to run for a Senate seat there.

A former Trump campaign adviser during both 2016 and 2020 runs, Lara was one of several Trump family members to deliver speeches at last year's RNC. Last December, she appeared to voice some interest in the state's support for her potential run last December, tweeting out a poll that showed her as a then-GOP frontrunner in North Carolina: "Wow, very nice! Thank you!" Lara responded.

Only one Republican candidate has entered the 2022 race to replace Burr thus far: former Rep. Mark Walker. Walker, 51, represented North Carolina's 6th district in the House of Representatives from 2015 until 2021, stepping down to run for Burr's Senate seat.

Responding to Graham's support for Lara on Sunday, Walker told Fox News: "Lindsey is always confident, but not always right."