Under the Dome

Republican lawmaker authors new letter criticizing Tillis

A Republican state lawmaker is raising concerns once again about Thom Tillis’ ethics, saying hard questions need to be asked about his bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Rep. Robert Brawley authored an open letter to Tillis that calls into question Tillis’ ability to mount an effective campaign to defeat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan come November. The Mooresville lawmaker, who has been critical of Tillis in the past, raised seven issues that he thinks Democrats would target in a general election between Hagan and Tillis.

“If they’re going to attack, that’s what I would attack,” Brawley said in an interview. “Every issue in the General Assembly is going to have to be dealt with between now and a November election.”

Brawley said the baggage will hurt Tillis’ chances in November.

“We’re going to have to defend the record, and nobody’s talking about that,” he said.

The Tillis campaign declined to comment on the letter.

Brawley has been on the outs with the state Republican Party for almost a year after writing a scathing letter to Tillis, which was read aloud in the House, and then resigning under pressure from his post as Finance Committee chairman.

He said he’s still working on picking a favorite in this primary race.

“Why have you spent this campaign raising money rather than attending the Republican forums?” Brawley wrote in the letter. “I believe most Republicans will pull behind our candidate this fall but we are also important the rest of the year. Hopefully votes are as important as money.”