North Carolina Sen. Tillis Censured at State GOP Convention Over Votes for Progressive Policies

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP

There have been disturbing signs for a while that Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) was starting to become something of a burr under the saddle for many in the base of the Republican Party, including a failed attempt at a bipartisan immigration bill in late 2022 with Independent Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, which my colleague Jennifer Oliver O’Connell rightly condemned in December.


But, there were other warning signs about Tillis, including an “aye” vote on a 2021 gun control bill, then more recently, 2022’s The Respect for Marriage Act—which you might remember was the progressive wing of the Democrat Party’s pro-LGBTQ push to codify same-sex marriage. JOO wrote:

Tillis is not planning on running for re-election, and rumor has it that he plans to make a run for North Carolina governor when his senate term is up in 2026. So, Tillis has been playing “Senator bipartisan” on bills such as The Respect for Marriage Act, which was signed into law by Joe Biden on Tuesday, as well as the ill-conceived Safer Communities Act, the gun control legislation bill signed into law last Summer.

That brings us to the present, where the likelihood of Tillis gaining the support of Republicans in his state to run for the governor’s mansion appears to have evaporated. Members of the Republican Party of North Carolina are gathered this weekend in Greensboro for their annual convention. And one of the agenda items was to officially let Tillis know his actions in the Swamp have been noted by the GOP of the Old North State.

Via AP:


GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Republican delegates in North Carolina voted Saturday at their annual convention to censure Thom Tillis, the state’s senior U.S. senator, for backing LGBTQ+ rights, immigration and gun violence policies. […]

Several delegates in Greensboro criticized Tillis, who has held his seat in the Senate since 2015, for his work last year on the Respect For Marriage Act, which enshrined protections for same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law.

Both the state and national GOP platforms oppose same-sex marriage. But Tillis, who had opposed it earlier in his political career, was among the early supporters of the law who lobbied his GOP colleagues in Congress to vote in favor of it.

The Associated Press reported that other issues the NC Republicans mentioned in the censure included his opposition to “Trump’s plan to use military construction dollars to build a wall along the nation’s southern border, but he eventually shifted his position.” Tillis also showed support for a bill that would have implemented red flag laws.

Supporters of the censure expressed hopes that the North Carolina senator would receive the Party’s “firm message of dissatisfaction.” NCGOP spokesman Jeff Moore told the AP that the censure’s approval needed two-thirds of 1,801 voting delegates.


After the vote, Tillis spokeman Daniel Keylin responded to the AP via an emailed statement, in which he insisted the senator “keeps his promises and delivers results.” It continued:

He will never apologize for his work passing the largest tax cut in history, introducing legislation to secure the border and end sanctuary cities, delivering desperately-needed funding to strengthen school safety and protecting the rights of churches to worship freely based on their belief in traditional marriage.


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