Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law who is eyeing a run for Senate in her home state of North Carolina in 2022, is already freezing the field for other Trump loyalists looking for a political future of their own.
On Friday, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff and a former House member who represented North Carolina, said he would not be part of what is expected to be a competitive and crowded field for the first open seat in the swing state in a generation.
Mr. Meadows was widely expected to move home and run for the seat, but political strategists and Trump allies said there would be no lane for him in the race if Ms. Trump follows through and mounts her own political campaign.
Mr. Meadows announced he would not run a day after The New York Times reported that Ms. Trump was considering a run for an open seat in 2022.
“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,” Mr. Meadows said in an interview with the News & Observer. Mr. Meadows said he had spoken to many people about the seat, including Ms. Trump.
“To my knowledge, no one’s made a definitive decision on whether to toss their hat in the ring or not,” he said. “But in terms of my hat, it won’t be in the ring.”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, did not respond to a request for comment.
Ms. Trump, 38, a former personal trainer and television producer for “Inside Edition,” married Eric Trump at the family’s Mar-a-Lago estate in 2014 and worked as a senior adviser on the 2020 Trump campaign.
She emerged during the campaign as a defender of President Trump’s basest political instincts, willing to make the kind of ad hominem attacks on Joseph R. Biden Jr., now the president-elect, that Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, steered clear of. She currently lives in Westchester, N.Y.
Much of the speculation about who might inherit the Trump mantle has focused on his older children. Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has the deepest connection with the online disinformation system that has fueled support for his father. Ivanka Trump, who worked as a White House official focusing on work force development, was deployed on the campaign trail to make the president more palatable to the suburban women who were turned off by his tone and his tweets.
But neither have any immediate political plans of their own. Ms. Trump, meanwhile, cultivated her own political brand through a YouTube channel and a heavy presence on the campaign trail, and may be the first Trump to test the durability of the family name in a post-Donald Trump political world.