Budd says his hard work and business background make him the # 1 choice in the Senate – The North State Journal.
RALEIGH – There’s a scene from the third season of The West Wing television series that features fictional President Jed Barlett and White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler in a tense Oval Office meeting. In the scene, Ziegler worries about the opponent’s perceived attraction to the president’s re-election, telling him, “He’s good for all time zones.”
This call could also sum up the main record of supporters of three-term U.S. Representative Ted Budd in the upcoming Republican U.S. Senate primary in 2022.
Budd calls himself a family man, little businessman and “liberal agenda crusher,” with a monster truck featured in his campaign announcement video.
During his third term in Congress, Budd set a strongly conservative voting record. He opposed efforts to bring back congressional allocations, saying, “Nothing sums up what’s wrong with Washington better than spending on pork barrels in the form of congressional allocations.” He opposed the policies of sanctuary cities and sponsored several bills aimed at reducing regulations on business. Just over a month ago, he was one of three representatives from North Carolina to win a National Conservative Taxpayers Union Taxpayers’ Friend Award.
Budd is a native of North Carolina, born in Winston-Salem, but when he was young his family moved to a farm off the Yadkin River in Davie County, where his wife and three children now live. . It was there, says Budd, that he learned to work hard. He grew up on the family farm of commercial cattle and chickens.
“I grew up working on the farm and my father started a janitorial and landscaping services business in Winston-Salem. So we all grew up working. It was tough, but I loved it, ”says Budd.
While studying at Appalachian State University, Budd was an unwitting witness to history.
“It was August 1991, and I was with a friend, and we were Christian missionaries delivering medical supplies to the Communist Soviet Union when the Iron Curtain came down,” Budd said. “We didn’t realize at the time how much chaos there was. And a week later we come home could see [what was happening] on TV.”
It was also through missionary journeys that Budd met his wife, Amy Kate. He lived in Texas for four years and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary and returned to North Carolina.
He started a business with his father around this time after working in the flourishing family business.
“We helped others in distribution – so the companies that would sell to John Deere and other turf companies. We were more behind the scenes to help them get started and we were on the Triad Business Journal Fast 50 list, ”Budd said.
It was his next move, however, that became Budd’s best-known enterprise.
In 2010, Budd purchased a bankrupt covered shooting range.
“It was in 2010 and I bought it for the Winston-Salem Police Department. They drove cars in Thomasville and other places. They couldn’t own it because it was attached to another mall and couldn’t turn there, ”Budd said, adding that it was a conversation with a lieutenant in the department that convinced him of the need to expand the range offer.
“He said to me, ‘Never underestimate the public’s need for a safe place to shoot.’ They [WSPD] were our only customers and then we went into retail. And now we have over 50,000 customers who have gone to the store, ”Budd said.
With a booming business, Budd says he’s learned about payroll, cash flow, balance sheets, and everything it takes to run a small business.
He is also adamant that like public service, in business it does not divide customers.
“I am a 49 year old white male. I would think, well, everything [gun range] clients are like me. It is stereotypical, and it is wrong. On the first day, I saw the spectrum of people from all political backgrounds. People come in that you didn’t think they would line up with, and it’s like someone was going bowling; they arrive at the shooting range, ”says Budd.
He said it’s those first two congressional elections that show he’s seasoned enough to run for statewide.
“Having sailed in a 17-lane primary, I think that was important. Nobody else [running for U.S. Senate] experienced a race like this. Then, also being spent two to one by the Democrats in 2018, when they sued me with a rich self-funding [now Congresswoman Kathy Manning] plus the outside money that’s trying to get me out, I think that makes me different, ”Budd says.
It’s an argument Budd is now pushing through the state, touting his track record, his voting record, and the bills he drafted to help move the economy forward. He was in the General Assembly on Tuesday, June 1 alongside state lawmakers, presenting his federal incentive bonus bill to get North Carolinians back to work.
“Ted has a unique ability in politics in that the more you get to know him, the more you love him,” said his childhood friend Jonathan Felts, who helps advise Budd’s campaign in the Senate. “I don’t hit anyone, but a lot of politicians, the more you know them the less you like them.”