Jeb Bush Backs Thom Tillis in NC GOP Senate Primary

Image: Jeb Bush Backs Thom Tillis in NC GOP Senate Primary

Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:42 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has gotten involved with the North Carolina Senate race by endorsing state House Speaker Thom Tillis in the crowded GOP primary, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Bush, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, backed Tillis after two other possible White House contenders endorsed rival candidates.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has thrown his support behind tea party candidate Greg Brannon, a physician, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been campaigning for the Rev. Mark Harris.

In his endorsement, Bush said that Tillis was “a proven conservative leader with an impressive track record of results.”

The GOP primary with eight candidates is scheduled for next Tuesday, and the winner will need at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid an expensive mid-July runoff election.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said earlier this month that Tillis has the best chance to unseat embattled Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in what is seen as a close race in November.

Tillis is the favored candidate of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and he also has the support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

With Republicans hoping to gain at least six seats to take back the Senate, Hagan is viewed as being vulnerable, mainly because of her outspoken support of the Affordable Care Act.

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