On Monday, the Jacksonville Daily News reported that former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), one of the first major candidates to seek the Republican nomination for North Carolina's open Senate seat, is still stinging that former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd over him — and speculated that it was a plot "orchestrated" by Mark Meadows, another former North Carolina representative who served as Trump's chief of staff.
"'Ah — my first thought — it was that Mark Meadows had orchestrated this whole event,' Walker told The USA TODAY Network a few minutes after making similar comments about the endorsement to approximately 120 attendees at the luncheon. It was held by the Fayetteville Republican Women's Club to celebrate Trump and his birthday, which is Monday," reported Paul Woolverton. "Walker accused Meadows of not telling Trump that Walker led a straw poll of Republican delegates earlier that day for the GOP 2022 Senate nomination."
Budd received the endorsement just minutes prior to Trump stepping out onstage for a speech at the North Carolina GOP convention.
Even though Budd has Trump's endorsement, he currently does not appear to be leading in the polls for the Republican nomination. A poll touted by Budd himself shows him down 26 points to former Gov. Pat McCrory, who has called Budd a "Washington insider" who is "not electable."