Six years after North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race set a national spending record, its 2020 contest already is shaping up as one of the nation’s most expensive. Two national conservative groups that supported Republican Sen. Thom Tillis’s first race in 2014 have released ads backing him again.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Chamber began airing a television ad touting Tillis’s co-sponsorship of a bill intended to aid veterans’ employment opportunities. The Chamber spent more than $7 million to help Tillis’s 2014 campaign, its largest contribution of the cycle.
Americans For Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, launched ads last week, arguing against government spending and praising Tillis for his vote for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AFP Action, the group’s political action committee, is engaged in grassroots activities for Tillis, reaching nearly 70,000 voters through phone calls and knocking on doors so far this cycle. It endorsed Tillis in June.
Chris McCoy, American For Prosperity’s North Carolina state director, said the early spending — the primary is March 3 — is “treading into new territory for us.” He said Tillis’s work on criminal justice reform, particularly the First Step Act, tax-and-spend policies and veterans issues have earned him support.
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