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Ex-N. Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory files as US Senate candidate

February 25, 2022 GMT
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answers questions from the media after he filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answers questions from the media after he filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answers questions from the media after he filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answers questions from the media after he filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answers questions from the media after he filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory officially filed as a U.S. Senate candidate Friday, calling himself best-suited to represent the state during “serious times” at home and abroad.

McCrory, who served as governor from 2013 through 2016 and was Charlotte mayor for 14 years, had announced his plans to seek the Republican nomination last April.

“And during these serious times, we need people with experience who have had to deal with crisis,” McCrory told reporters at the State Fairgrounds, the venue for filing for federal, statewide and judicial offices. “So that’s why I’m running right now — to bring my experience as a successful mayor and successful governor, and bring a North Carolina voice to Washington, D.C.”

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McCory, 65, is expected to face U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, former Rep. Mark Walker and combat veteran Marjorie Eastman among others in the GOP primary.

The frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, filed Thursday, when filing resumed after a 2 1/2 month suspension due to redistricting litigation. Candidates have until noon March 4 to file.

McCrory said if elected he would focus on ways to curb inflation and make the country energy independent — particularly in light of expected increased gasoline prices from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Our energy independence not only lowers gasoline prices and fuel prices, but it also makes America safer,” he said.

McCrory, Walker and Eastman plan to participate in a debate Saturday in Raleigh organized by the John Locke Foundation. Without mentioning Budd by name, McCrory criticized him for declining to join the debate.

Budd’s campaign outraised McCrory in the fourth quarter, but cash balances for the competing campaigns were very close entering 2022. The Washington-based Club for Growth Action super PAC has spent millions of dollars backing Budd’s candidacy and criticizing McCrory.