08:13 GMT23 June 2021
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    North Carolina has proved to be a pivotal state for Republicans, as former US President Donald Trump won the state in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. As the 2022 midterm elections approach, Republicans are looking to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and regain majority presence in US Congress.

    Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, announced on Monday that Trump will headline his state's GOP convention on June 5. 

    "President Trump won North Carolina in 2016 by promising to put America First, and he won North Carolina in 2020 by keeping that promise. President Trump delivered real results for North Carolina by rebuilding the military, standing strong against China, and unleashing the American Economy," Whatley said in a statement provided to the North State Journal. 

    "We are honored to welcome President Trump to our convention as the Republican Party launches our campaign to retake Congress and the Senate in the 2022 midterms." 

    Burr, the outgoing US senator from North Carolina, was censured by his state's Republican Party after he was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. The US Senate ultimately acquitted Trump after a 57-43 vote -- 10 votes shy of the threshold for conviction.  

    "The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former President lies outside the United States Constitution," the committee declared following its unanimous vote. 

    Burr issued a same-day response, declaring that it was "a sad day for North Carolina Republicans." 

    "My party's leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation," he said. 

    US President Donald Trump, with daughter-in-law Lara Trump, arrives at Wilmington International Airport in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 2, 2020. - Trump is in Wilmington to designate it as the first American World War II heritage city on the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
    © AFP 2021 / MANDEL NGAN
    US President Donald Trump, with daughter-in-law Lara Trump, arrives at Wilmington International Airport in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 2, 2020. - Trump is in Wilmington to designate it as the first American World War II heritage city on the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
    Lara Trump, wife of the former US president’s middle son, Eric Trump, has been rumored to be one of likely contenders to fill Burr's seat.   

    "In North Carolina, in particular, she’s a household name and people know her. She worked really hard on the campaign and was very involved in a lot of decisions throughout," Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp told the New York Times late last year. 

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    Tags:
    elections, US Election 2020, 2016 presidential election, Republicans, Lara Trump, Richard Burr, Donald Trump
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