The Republican campaigns seeking votes ahead of the May primary each decorated a table with fliers, stickers and campaign signs Saturday at the 2nd Congressional District convention in Sanford.
Two tea party candidates taped their signs together: Greg Brannon and Frank Roche. Brannon is trying to defeat establishment favorite Thom Tillis. Roche is trying to top incumbent U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Now, Ellmers and Tillis are joining forces. Ellmers, a Dunn Republican, announced Wednesday she is endorsing Tillis in the Senate race. She is the second prominent N.C. Republican in as many days to wade into the primary contest and the first congressional candidate to announce a preference in the race.
“I feel very strongly that conservatives must choose Thom Tillis as our Republican nominee to defeat Kay Hagan this fall,” Ellmers said in a statement.
In recent months, Ellmers has touted the state’s Republican leadership for their efforts to improve the state’s economy. And she repeated the praise in her endorsement. “Thom Tillis has a proven record of making tough decisions to help grow North Carolina’s economy and bring fiscal sanity to state government,” she said.
Ellmers also said Tillis is the right candidate because he “is ready to fight to repeal and replace Obamacare.”