#NCSEN Another NCGOP establishment icon joins Theam Tillis





A North Carolinian who has held countless jobs over the decades with Democrat and Republican officials has thrown his support behind state House Speaker Thom Tillis in the 2014 GOP primary for US Senate:


Some of the highlights on the résumè of Phil Kirk include service as chief of staff to former NC Govs. Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin, as well as to former US Senator Jim Broyhill.  He also chaired the state board of education (1997-2003) during the administrations of Democrats Jim Hunt and Mike Easley.

North Carolina Republicans get the final say on this race in May 2014.

2 thoughts on “#NCSEN Another NCGOP establishment icon joins Theam Tillis

  1. Icon? Phil Kirk was always decidedly moderate and decidedly establishment. I would expect him to end up in TIli$’ camp.

    I remember when Kirk was a State Senator in a two seat district, with his seatmate being staunch conservative Bob Somers. Somers and Kirk never got along on much of anything. In fact, one time there was a three way primary, and Somers took a poll which showed him first, Kirk second, and Mac Butner third. Kirk and Butner were the two incumbents. Somers sent Butner a good sized check, and the surprised Butner called him thanked him but asked why since they were running against each other. Somers told Butner that he was running to defeat the liberal Kirk, not Butner, so he wanted to see Butner pull ahead of Kirk.

  2. Kirk served a part of Martin’s first term as Chief of Staff. He was appointed midway during that term, and left before the term was over to head a major special interest group. He did not have much influence on policy or personnel while there. His choice to take over the cabinet department he left was even passed over for someone else by Governor Martin. Kirk was Holshouser’s last Secretary of Human Resources for about a year and Martin’s first secretary of that department where he served for slightly longer before moving to Chief of Staff. (Dave Flaherty was DHR Secretary during the majority of both Holshouser’s and Martin’s administrations).

    He was not Senator Broyhill’s chief of staff. He worked for the Martin adminstration during Broyhill’s brief stint as senator. Kirk worked for Broyhill while he was a Congressman, after Kirk left the Holshouser administration.

    What is most telling is Kirk more recent political history. He was an appointee in a major policy position of two liberal Democrat governors. Kirk would not have been appointed if he was not willing to toe the liberal line, and no genuine conservative would have accepted an appointment from either of those governors.

    Kirk is exactly the sort of person I would expect to be supporting someone like Tilli$.

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