Last-minute endorsements trotted out in 6th District race

07/10/2014 6:17 PM

07/10/2014 9:46 PM

Contestants in the 6th Congressional GOP primary are rolling out last-minute endorsements ahead of Tuesday's primary runoff.

The Tea Party Express, which bills itself as the nation's largest tea party PAC, has endorsed Phil Berger Jr. Based in Sacramento, the group says it likes Berger's positions against tax increases and the federal health care law.

Mark Walker at a news conference on Wednesday in Greensboro was publicly endorsed by state Rep. John Blust, a Republican from Greensboro. Walker has drawn earlier endorsements from losing Senate candidates Mark Harris and Heather Grant, and from activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Berger has a key endorsement - from the man he hopes to replace in Congress: Rep. Howard Coble. Both men have a list of endorsements from local officials.

Berger's big advantage, though, is that he is benefiting from Keep Conservatives United, a super PAC that has spent about $200,000 to benefit Berger. He has raised twice as much money as Walker in the most recent reporting period.

At Wednesday's event, Walker called for an investigation of the super PAC, claiming that his opponent's father, state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, was using his position to attract contributions to the PAC, which he claimed was set up just for the candidate's benefit. Federal law prohibits super PACs from coordinating with campaigns.

A representative of Keep Conservatives United called the accusation "bogus" and said it hasn't coordinated with Berger's campaign. The representative pointed out the group was formed in 2011 and has been involved in a number of issues involving candidates for national office.

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