A prominent conservative group is trying to lure a staunch ally of President Donald Trump into a primary race against Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, threatening to inflame intra-party tensions in a state crucial to the party’s 2020 strategy.
The Club for Growth is attempting to nudge Rep. Mark Walker, a third-term evangelical pastor, into the 2020 Senate race. This week, it completed a poll suggesting that Tillis would be vulnerable to a challenge from the right — particularly against Walker.
It’s a striking break for a group that had ceased backing primary challenges to establishment-aligned lawmakers, a posture that put it squarely against party leadership. Five years after its last attempt to topple a sitting senator, the organization is once again signaling its interest in taking on incumbents.
The Club for Growth said its move was rooted in a growing belief that Tillis is vulnerable — both in the primary and general elections.