Under the Dome

Club for Growth endorses Ellmers’ opponent

Club for Growth PAC, a prominent national free-enterprise political action committee, announced Tuesday it is endorsing the opponent of incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers in the primary.

Jim Duncan, outgoing chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party is the beneficiary.

A statement released by Club for Growth points to issues that have rankled some conservatives about Ellmers’ two terms in Congress.

“She campaigned as a Tea Party candidate, but sided with Nancy Pelosi in reauthorizing the corrupt Export-Import Bank, and in supporting the wasteful trillion-dollar spending bills of 2014 and 2015,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. “During her time in Washington, Ellmers has taken pride in following the lead of Speaker Boehner and the Republican leaders in Congress.”

Duncan, a retired computer-industry leasing executive, said in a news release on Tuesday that he is the only candidate with the money and campaign organization to challenge Ellmers in the 2nd Congressional District. He raised about $300,000 through the third-quarter. Ellmers took in more than $700,000 during that time.

Frank Roche of Cary is also running in the primary against Ellmers for the second time.

The endorsement is likely to bring cash to Duncan’s campaign, as it runs a super PAC in addition to the traditional policitical action committee.

In three months earlier this year the Club for Growth spent $1 million on TV ads in nine congressional districts, including North Carolina, asking those members of Congress to oppose re-authorizing the Export-Import bank. That was followed by a conservative nonprofit group’s radio and digital ads thanking Ellmers for her support for the bank.

The banks is a federal agency that helps United States companies sell their products overseas, which some see as corporate welfare.