Blockbuster lineup for NCGOP Convention: Trump, Pence, DeSantis to speak
Former President Donald Trump, former Vice-President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are among those who will be speaking at the N.C. Republican Party State Convention in Greensboro next month. The convention takes place June 8-11 in the Grand Ballroom of the Koury Convention Center.
DeSantis will be the Keynote Speaker at the Old North State Dinner Friday, June 9, at 6 pm.
Pence will be the Keynote Speaker at the NCGOP’s First in Freedom Lunch Saturday, June 10, at noon.
Trump is the featured speaker and is scheduled to speak Saturday, June 10, at 6 pm.
Although Trump is the only one of the three to declare his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, both Pence and DeSantis are also considered contenders.
Trump appeared at the 2021 NCGOP Convention, where he made an early endorsement in the 2022 primary for U.S. Senate, choosing 13th District Congressman Ted Budd over former Congressman Mark Walker and former Gov. Pat McCrory.
“This gentleman is going to be your next senator,” Trump said of Budd. “He is going to be someone you are so proud of. He will fight like hell, and a lot of you people don’t know him that well yet, but you will in about two minutes — Ted Budd.”
Budd returned the favor last month by endorsing Trump for president. He made the announcement on his website, saying Trump’s America First agenda positively impacted North Carolina’s working families.
“Just a few years ago, America was strong, but now under Joe Biden, we are a nation in decline,” Budd said. “Our economy is faltering, our wide-open southern border is tragically wrecking lives, and our country’s power and influence in the world is diminished. Under President Trump, our economy saw record-setting growth, and families were starting to get ahead,” Budd said.
Budd’s endorsement is also on Trump’s website.
Pence also campaigned for Budd in November while attending a fundraiser at NCGOP headquarters in Raleigh. He sat with Budd and party chairman Michael Whatley to talk about goals and policy that focuses on inflation, empowering parents in education, and addressing a crime surge.
While he has not officially announced a run, DeSantis is a clear contender for the Republican presidential nomination. On April 28, Florida lawmakers cleared the way for him to run for president without having to resign. The provision would tweak a Florida law – known as “resign to run” – that currently requires candidates in the state seeking higher office to give up their elected post once they qualify for the ballot. The legislation exempts “any person seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States” from the resign-to-run law.
But, according to likely GOP primary voters in the state, it is still Trump’s race to lose.
A recent Civitas poll done by Survey USA shows that 55% of N.C.’s likely GOP primary voters would vote for former President Donald Trump if the primary were held today. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was the second choice with 22% of the vote, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence with 8% and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley with 5%.
Trump saw the highest support among young primary voters (18-34) and primary voters above 65, capturing over 60% of voters in those age demographics. In contrast, less than half of voters aged 35-64 supported Trump.