It’s no secret that the DC and Raleigh Republican establishment is in love with the idea of state House speaker Thom Tillis moving up to the US Senate. Karl Rove and Senator Richard Burr have already signed on with ol’ Thom. Now reports are surfacing that PACs tied to US Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and US House speaker John Boehner have ponied up for the North Carolina state legislator’s US Senate campaign. The Boehner PAC donated $10,000 to Tillis, while McConnell’s group ponied up $5,000.
This news makes it clear that North Carolina’s 2014 GOP primary for the US Senate will very much be a proxy fight between the GOP establishment and The Tea Party. A top strategist for US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) – a Tea Party favorite – has signed on to aid the campaign of Republican Greg Brannon. Kentucky’s other US Senator, Rand Paul — also a Tea Party favorite — has publicly endorsed Brannon and begun aiding the Cary physician’s fundraising efforts.
Well-placed sources tell me that endorsements of Brannon from a number of other nationally-renowned Tea Party-aligned individuals and groups are forthcoming in the near future.