White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — who had been mentioned as a possible Senate candidate in his home state — said Friday he will not run in 2022, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
“I love the people of North Carolina. But I not only have no plans, I have no intentions to run for the Senate in 2022,” Meadows told the newspaper by phone.
Another Republican, Sen. Richard Burr, has also said he will not seek reelection in 2022. Both Meadows And Burr have been close allies of President Donald Trump.
Prior to joining the White House as chief of staff earlier this year, Meadows represented North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District since 2013. He was also a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, an influential conservative group on Capitol Hill.
Burr, who earlier this year stepped down as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman amid an investigation into his stock sales during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, announced he would retire from the Senate.
Meanwhile, Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump is considering a run for a U.S. Senate seat in the state.
The development opens up a new opportunity for Democrats to pick up at least one Senate seat in North Carolina in the midterm elections.