Lara Trump loves her hometown. That’s why she’s thankful that her role in father-in-law Donald Trump’s presidential campaign means she gets to come back more often.
“It’s so great to be back home. I feel like I’m cheating to be back here,” said the Wrightsville Beach native on Thursday afternoon, minutes before she spoke before a group of local Republican women. “The weather today is so great. It’s fantastic to be here.”
The Laney High School alum (she also attended Wrightsville Beach Elementary and Noble Middle School), who is married to Donald Trump’s second-oldest son, Eric, said she’d never thought she’d be in the position she is: part of one of the most recognizable families in America and in the middle of a presidential campaign.
“I never expected, when I moved nine years ago to New York City, that this would ever happen to me,” said Trump, who moved to the Big Apple to attend culinary school. “[Being a part of this campaign] is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. It’s incredible.”
Trump felt so strongly about helping out her father-in-law, she said, that she put her day job as an associate producer for CBS’ Inside Edition on hold while she’s on the campaign trail for the next two months.
“I wasn’t going to have the time to adequately dedicate to this,” Trump said, also noting the difficulty of balancing her professional and personal lives. “When they’re reporting on your family on the show you work for, it’s a little challenging. We managed to keep everything pretty even-keeled for the duration of this whole thing, but certainly it’s nice to not have to worry about that from day-to-day.”
Trump said she’ll return to her job on Nov. 10, two days after the presidential election, but will be campaigning hard for her father-in-law until then.
“We’ll be focusing on other states as well, but obviously North Carolina is a big state. We have to win North Carolina,” Trump said, adding that she’s been lobbying for Donald Trump to make a second visit to the Port City following his rally here last month. “When my father-in-law decided he was running for president, I said to him, ‘Look, this is my home. I know the people in North Carolina, and I want to go down there. You can send me anytime you want.'”
While she relishes telling others about the man she knows on a personal level and believes will be the best president, Trump said the most challenging part about being on the road is not being able to maintain her habits.
“I try to stay healthy and exercise and eat a certain way, and that just doesn’t always happen when you’re out,” said Trump. “We make do, but I’ll get back on track in November.”
One of the best parts is getting to see her own family. Though Trump’s parents, Robert and Linda Yunaska, aren’t in the spotlight as much as her in-laws, Trump said they’ve become “local celebrities” who get recognized on trips to the grocery store.
“They love it. It’s very exciting for them,” Trump said. “And they like that I’m able to come home a little more often, so that’s always a big plus for them.”
If Lara Trump gets her way, eventually she’ll be soaking in the Carolina sun, surf and sand on a regular basis, even if she’s not here to campaign for anyone.
“My husband knows that if we’re buying a house anywhere else, it is Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina,” Trump said. “Without a doubt. He doesn’t have any other options.”