Tillis dodges primary challenge in NC

Tillis dodges primary challenge in NC
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTo boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Pressure rises on Cheney to make decision NCAA urges California governor not to sign 'fair pay' bill for college athletes MORE (R-N.C.) will not challenge Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland Tillis The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Tillis places big ad buy as he faces wealthy GOP challenger MORE (R-N.C.) in the 2020 Republican primary, sparing the state GOP a potentially bruising fight ahead of an election in which President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE will also be on the ballot.

“After prayerful reflection and consideration, I am confident that my continued service in the House will best help our efforts to reclaim the majority from Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiProgressives call for impeachment inquiry after reported Kavanaugh allegations The promise and peril of offshoring prescription drug pricing Words matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump MORE and advance our shared conservative goals,” Walker told Politico.


Walker had reportedly seriously considered the primary challenge but wanted Trump’s approval first, meeting with him at the White House last month.

Republican leaders, however, had warned the president a protracted primary fight could affect the general election, in which the Tar Heel State will be key to both Trump’s electoral map and continued GOP control of the Senate, Politico noted.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Cicilline on Trump investigations versus legislation: 'We have to do both' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenators pressure Trump to help end humanitarian crisis in Kashmir Congress set for chaotic fall sprint Overnight Defense: Senate fails to override Trump veto on Saudi arms sales | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan | Senators tee up nominations, budget deal ahead of recess MORE (R-Ind.) have spoken with Trump to warn him about a primary battle and the importance of North Carolina in the 2020 cycle, according to Politico, which cites two sources familiar with the conversations.

A Walker spokesman told the news outlet that the congressman met with Tillis Wednesday afternoon to tell him he would not mount a challenge, adding that Walker is still seeking a second meeting with Trump to discuss his decision.

Walker said earlier this week that polling from the conservative Club for Growth indicated Tillis was vulnerable, according to Politico.

“Some of the numbers we have seen, the frustration levels from North Carolinians, just to be frank, it is concerning,” he said ahead of his decision.

Walker, however, would come with baggage of his own as a candidate, with Politico reporting in April that a political committee he controlled is named in a criminal indictment of former Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.).

Walker is not named in the indictment and has denied any wrongdoing, according to the news outlet.

Tillis, meanwhile, has been vocal in his support of Trump ahead of his reelection bid and pushed back against fellow North Carolina Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrLawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes Trump to hold campaign rally in North Carolina day before special House election Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post MORE’s (R) subpoena in April of Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John Trump2020 is not a family affair, for a change Pompeo jokes about speaking at Trump hotel: 'The guy who owns it' is 'going to be successful' Ex-sycophants highlight the void of competence around Trump MORE Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.