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Tags: thom tillis | primary | challenge | gop | conservative | north carolina

Sen. Tillis to Face Challenge From the Right

thom tillis listens with arms crossed
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Monday, 06 May 2019 07:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is almost a cinch to face a primary challenge from the right in 2020.

Supporters of Raleigh businessman Garland Tucker formally filed Monday morning for the primary race next March. Although Tucker, 71, has yet to formally announce his candidacy, backers of the longtime Tar Heel State conservative activist say he is certain to make the race.

"Historic" is by far the best adjective to characterize the pending Tucker-Tillis bout. It will be the first time since 1972 a sitting senator in North Carolina faced a significant primary challenge and the first primary against a sitting Republican senator.

Earlier this year, Tillis upset conservatives across the state and nationwide by denouncing the president's proposal to declare a state of emergency to build the wall along the Mexican border.

Faced with an onslaught of criticism from conservatives, Tillis did an about-face and voted with Trump on the emergency issue. Still, many area pundits believe his switching back and forth on such a high-profile issue caused him major political damage.

"This is a classic insider-outsider race," veteran North Carolina political analyst Marc Rotterman told Newsmax. "K Street, home of the lobbyists, will definitely be with Sen. Tillis. So, I think it will be a hard sell to position Sen. Tillis as pro-Trumper – particularity on the issue of the border wall and illegal immigration as well as spending issues."

Tucker, chairman of the Triangle Capital investment firm, is considered a "traditional conservative" who places a high priority on smaller government and more freedom. He serves on the board of the conservative John Locke Foundation, and has written two books: one on the 1924 election (the last time both major party nominees were strong conservatives) and another with profiles of major conservative leaders.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

North Carolina's freshman Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is almost a cinch to face a primary challenge from the right in 2020, Newsmax's John Gizzi reports.
thom tillis, primary, challenge, gop, conservative, north carolina
Monday, 06 May 2019 07:33 PM
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