NC state senator meets with DSCC as Dems eye challenge to Tillis

NC state senator meets with DSCC as Dems eye challenge to Tillis
© Greg Nash

North Carolina State Sen. Jeff Jackson met with the Democrats’ Senate campaign arm on Friday, as the party eyes potential candidates to challenge Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-N.C.) in 2020.

Rumblings of the discussions had emerged on a Reddit discussion board on Friday afternoon. A post by a member with the user name "JeffJacksonNC" purporting to be Jackson confirmed meeting with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the website.

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Jackson confirmed the meeting to The Hill on Friday and acknowledged writing the posting on Reddit. He did not respond to further questions about the meeting. 

"I just met with them. Nice folks, good conversation," the post from Jackson in Reddit said. "They asked me to keep an open mind and I told them I would, but I also told them having an infant at home was a major issue for me, which they understood.

Tillis, who narrowly beat former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganNC state senator meets with DSCC as Dems eye challenge to Tillis GOP, Dems locked in fight over North Carolina fraud probe 2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives MORE (D-N.C.) in 2014 to win his seat, is one of 22 Senate Republicans up for reelection next year, and Democrats are hoping to find a top-tier challenger to take on the first-term senator.

Democrats have increasingly put North Carolina in their crosshairs in recent years as shifting demographics and an influx of new residents has put parts of the state in play.

Tillis currently has a little more than $2 million in his campaign coffers, according to his most recent federal filing, which was made public on Friday.

Jackson, who has served in the North Carolina state Senate since 2014, was previously floated as a potential challenger to Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP's Tillis comes under pressure for taking on Trump Warner says there are 'enormous amounts of evidence' suggesting Russia collusion McCarthy dismisses Democrat's plans: 'Show me where the president did anything to be impeached' MORE (R-N.C.) in the run up to his 2016 reelection bid, though ultimately never mounted a bid.

Burr went on to win a roughly 6-point victory over Democrat Deborah Ross that year.