The news is encouraging for Tillis, who had been subjected to a barrage of attack advertising and resentment from state conservatives.
According to numerous GOP sources, Republican Garland Tucker is withdrawing his bid to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in the Republican primary.
The news is encouraging for Tillis, who had been subjected to a barrage of attack commercials from Tucker this year and resentment from state conservatives for his prior rejection of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund a wall along the country’s southern border. Just before the Senate voted to reject Trump’s declaration, Tillis changed his mind.
Tucker stated in a letter to contributors that he would need an additional $2.5 million to win the primary election and that he would be unable to continue personally funding the campaign at the current level. A copy of the letter was obtained by POLITICO. He said that donations from donors had not filled the financing gap created by the impeachment probe and claimed that “no access to national conservative money” existed.
In addition, Tucker noted that while he had hoped Trump would “stay out of the primary,” his engagement had “enabled Tillis to wrap himself in Trump’s endorsement” and made it more challenging to take Tillis on for his record. He also criticized the impeachment inquiry, claiming that it was unfair to incumbent senators and allowed Tillis to win over the party faithful by advocating the head of state Tillis has harshly criticized the impeachment investigation.
In the letter, Tucker continued, “I have very regrettably decided not to file as a candidate as a result of this combination of considerations. “While I sincerely appreciate your support to date and feel a genuine sense of obligation to you as donors, I cannot in good conscience ask for additional donations at a time when it is so clear that there is not enough money to carry the campaign to a successful conclusion.”
In September, Tillis’ team revealed that it would spend $2.2 million on television advertising highlighting Trump’s endorsement of him and deflecting criticism from Tucker.
The campaign’s primary opponent is now behind the campaign, according to Luke Blanchat, Tillis’ campaign manager, who added that “it’s now time to shift our attention to creating the diverse coalition necessary to beat whomever radical, leftist nominee the Democrats bring forward in March.”
By the end of September, Tucker had donated his campaign more than $1.1 million, and his campaign had spent more than $1 million on TV ads promoting himself and or criticizing Tillis. However, he made little progress in the polls when running against the senator in office. According to a Fox News poll conducted last month, Tillis had a 54 percent to 11% advantage over Tucker among GOP voters.
In the GOP primary, Tillis is still up against farmer Sandy Smith, who had just $66,000 in cash on hand as of September 30. The deadline for additional candidates to enter the race is December 20.
Tillis will probably still be up against a tough opponent in the general election. Cal Cunningham, an Army veteran and former state senator who filed his petition to run for office on Monday, has the support of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In the primary, Cunningham will still be up against state senator Erica Smith.
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