The man who brought you HB 2 and couldn’t get re-elected governor when Republicans across the state rode Donald Trump’s coattails to resounding victory is launching his political comeback: Pat McCrory is officially running to fill North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022 and he wants you to know, he’s no Washington insider.

McCrory made the announcement on his WBT Charlotte radio show this morning and his campaign website is up and running. 

Here’s him sharing the news on Twitter:

McCrory is the second high-profile Republican candidate to enter the race, joining former Congressman Mark Walker, who was already taking shots at McCrory before he even made the news official:

N.C. Congressman Ted Budd may also run for the seat but word is he’s waiting to see what Lara Trump will decide to do. Trump, a Wrightsville Beach native who’s married to Eric Trump, is currently a paid Fox News contributor but would be able to enter the race as late as fall due to the visibility and fundraising prowess that comes built into the Trump name in Republican circles. 

lf Budd runs, he and Walker are bound to spend their campaigns duking it out between themselves to prove which of them is the most Trump-like. 

This will give McCrory the opening he seems to be angling for: to paint himself as a moderate, business-focused Republican–not unlike retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr–which was his whole schtick as Charlotte mayor before he gave it all up to be North Carolina’s first (and maybe last) hard-right governor of the 21st century.  

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