Jeff Jackson third announced candidate for 2022 U.S. Senate race

FILE - In this July 31, 2014 file photo, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson states his opposition to the proposed budget bill during a Senate session in Raleigh, N.C. Jackson has announced he’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Jackson unveiled his bid on Tuesday, Jan, 26, 2021. He's the second Democrat to enter the race to succeed Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who isn’t seeking reelection. (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH — State Sen. Jeff Jackson announced on Tuesday, Jan. 26, he would enter the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

Jackson, who was first appointed to the General Assembly in 2014, has built a large social media following in his time in the legislature, which may be an asset during his campaign.

He is the third candidate to announce a run.

Jackson joins former state Sen. Erica Smith, who ran against 2020 Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham in that year’s primary.

On the Republican side, the only declared candidate is former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who announced a run December 2020. Often-rumored Republican candidates include Lara Trump, former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and an N.C. native; former Gov. Pat McCrory; and former U.S. Rep. George Holding.