North Carolina Republicans are threatening to primary conservative Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) over his opposition to President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration.
Raleigh’s News & Observer reported that after Tillis publicly declared that he intends to vote in favor of a Democratic resolution of disapproval against the national emergency declaration, state Republicans began calling on constituents to voice their criticism — and looking for a primary challenger.
“We’re not happy with the way Senator Tillis seems not to support the president,” Diane Parnell, the chairwoman of the Rockingham County Republican Party, told the N&O. “We’re looking to see who is coming to primary him.”
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told the newspaper that he’d spoken to a lot of Republicans after Tillis came out in favor of the resolution in a Washington Post op-ed published at the end of February — and refused to rule out a potential challenge against the first-term senator.
When asked if he intends to primary Tillis, Walker demurred, telling the N&O that he’s “not suggesting that at all at this point.”
“I think he’s opened the door,” the GOP House member said, “but I’m not going to sit here and tell you that that’s me.”
Tillis, the report noted, is a staunch Trump supporter and defender of the president’s vision of “border security” who believes using a national emergency declaration sets a dangerous precedent.