U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorses Sen. Thom Tillis for re-election

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP)

RALEIGH – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business organization representing companies of all sizes across every sector of the economy, endorsed Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) for re-election and committed to backing Tillis in voter education and political efforts.

“In difficult times, we are reminded of the importance of having leaders that understand the genius of the American system of government and free enterprise and who are willing to tackle the hard problems that confront our nation,” said U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue.  “As our country faces many challenges and is collectively working to not just reopen our economy, but return to growth and expanded opportunities for all Americans, we need leaders like Sen. Tillis. Thom has a proven track record of leading responsibly and standing up for good policies. The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Sen. Tillis and looks forward to partnering with him in the future.”

The U.S. Chamber’s vice president and national political director of political affairs and federation relations Ashlee Rich Stephenson said that the organization would highlight Tillis’ record on the economy including his support of the USMCA, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and veterans’ issues that have helped thousands of North Carolinians.

“His lifetime score with the U.S. Chamber is 89% and Sen. Tillis won the Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award, which is only given to a handful of Senators” said Stephenson. “His support for USMCA, the tax cuts, and hard work on economic opportunity for veterans and military spouses makes Sen. Tillis stand out.”

The award given to Sen. Tillis encapsulates work since the beginning of the 116th Congress. He was one of just 10 senators to receive the award.

Stephenson added that the race shows clear differences between Tillis and his Democratic opponent, former one-term state senator Cal Cunningham, who the U.S. Chamber said refused to take a stand on the USMCA.

“Cunningham was unwilling to take a position on USMCA, even when all three members of the N.C. Democratic delegation voted for it. For us, that’s a clear contrast between the two candidates” Stephenson said.

The race between Tillis and Cunningham is expected to draw a bevy of spending, as most U.S. Senate races in the state traditionally have. Currently, the RealClearPolitics average has the two candidates deadlocked at 41% in their summary of public opinion polls.

Stephenson continued on what is sure to be one of the U.S. Chamber’s key themes, the work Tillis has done for veteran and military families. “Often times, military spouses are overlooked and the Chamber and our members were really impressed by Sen. Tillis’ leadership on these issues. He is really front and center fighting for these families.”

U.S. Chamber Action, the advocacy and voter education arm of the U.S. Chamber, also launched an ad supporting Tillis. The ad highlights efforts Tillis made to secure higher pay for service members. In 2019, Tillis chaired the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel and included a 3.1% raise for members of the Armed Forces in that year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The TV from U.S. Chamber Action can be viewed here.

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].