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Tillis Ekes Out Victory In North Carolina Bolstering Republicans Hold On The Senate

Republican Thom Tillis wins NC senate race, Cunningham concedes

Senator Thom Tillis defeated Cal Cunningham after an expensive and hard-fought race, which was scrambled in the final weeks by revelations that Mr. Cunningham had an extramarital affair.

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By Nicholas Fandos

Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, narrowly won re-election on Wednesday after a protracted vote count, capitalizing on unexpected party strength in a crucial swing state to defeat a Democrat damaged by late revelations of an extramarital affair.

Mr. Tillis, 60, had been one of Democrats top targets this year, a decidedly unpopular first-term Republican in a fast-growing and increasingly competitive state. But in the campaigns final weeks, he drew a pair of aces in the form of a Supreme Court vacancy and a personal scandal that dogged his opponent, Cal Cunningham.

With the vast majority of votes counted, Mr. Tillis was leading by just under 100,000 votes in an election that drew more voters and political spending than any in the states history. Mr. Tillis took a lead on election night and never lost it, but because of an influx of mail-in ballots, the result was not made official until Wednesday, long after most others were called.

Veterans know we cant trust Cal Cunningham, said an unnamed veteran in one ad run by Mr. Tilliss campaign.

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North Carolina House Of Representatives

After a two-year term as town commissioner, Tillis ran for the General Assembly in 2006. He defeated incumbent John W. Rhodes in the Republican primary and went on to win the election unopposed. Tillis was reelected unopposed in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He formally left IBM in 2009. He was campaign chairman for the House Republican Caucus in 2010. After Republicans won a majority in the North Carolina House for the first time since 1998, Tillis was chosen as Speaker, the fifth Republican to hold the role, and was unanimously reelected in 2013.Governing magazine named Tillis and North Carolina Senate President pro temporePhil Berger “GOP Legislators to Watch” in 2011.

The state house overseen by Tillis restructured the state’s tax code,redrewNorth Carolina’s congressional districts, and passed legislation to sunset existing state rules and regulations and limit new regulations to ten years.

In 2014, 14 people protesting cuts to the earned income tax credits program and Tillis’s refusal to expand Medicaid were arrested after staging a sit-in in his office.

Tillis was announced the winner of the Senate race on November 4. He received 48.8% of the vote, the lowest winning total in North Carolina history for a U.S. Senate candidate Hagan garnered 47.3%.

Race For Meadows Seat Headed For Runoff Ross And Manning Win Democratic Nominations For Redrawn Holding And Walker Districts

Army veteran and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham sailed through the North Carolina Democratic Senate primary Tuesday, setting up what is certain to be a closely watched race in November against vulnerable Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.

Cunningham, who led in fundraising and had the endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, was leading state Sen. Erica Smith, 58 percent to 34 percent, with 91 percent of precincts reporting.

Smith, a former school board member, received an unwanted boost from national Republicans in the last weeks of the race. The Senate Leadership Fund a GOP super PAC associated with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted in February it was behind a group that bought more than $3 million in ads touting Smiths progressive credentials. The tactic was meant to force Cunningham to spend money on the primary that could have been spent in the fall against Tillis.

Tillis started off the campaign as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the Senate. His position improved in December when retired businessman Garland Tucker, who had been largely funding his own challenge, dropped out of the Republican primary. President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in North Carolina by less than 4 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates this years Senate race a Toss-up.

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A New Map And A Scramble

The primary was also the first election since a court-ordered redrawing of House district lines after Democrats won a challenge to the map. The new map is expected to give Democrats an edge in the redrawn 2nd and 6th districts, where Republican incumbents George Holding and Mark Walker, respectively, decided against seeking reelection.

Another retirement, by Rep. Mark Meadows in the 11th District, led to a crowded primary featuring 12 Republican candidates. That race is likely going to a runoff.

Real estate agent and GOP activist Lynda Bennett was leading the field with 23 percent when The Associated Press made the call with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Bennett, the only woman in the field, had Meadows endorsement.

But she fell short of the 30 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. The No. 2 finisher, 25-year-old real estate investor Madison Cawthorn, may request a runoff.

Wayne King, a Meadows staffer who resigned so he could run for the seat without violating ethics rules, finished a distant fifth with just 9 percent.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face retired U.S. Air Force Col. Moe Davis, was leading with 47 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

The district became slightly more competitive after the new lines were drawn to take in the liberal enclave of Asheville. But Inside Elections still rates the race Solid Republican.

Literature Film And Television

Fact Check: Tillis Says Democratic Opponents Support ...

A handful of significant literary works and authors are associated with Jacksonville and the surrounding area. Perhaps the most important is , who moved North and was influential in the . In 1920 he also became the first African American to lead the civil rights organization. His first success as a writer was the poem “” , which his brother set to music the song became unofficially known as the “Negro National Anthem.”

Already famous for having written , northern writer published in 1873. A and memoir about her winters in the town of , it was one of the first guides written about Florida and stimulated the state’s first boom in the 1880s of tourism and residential development.

Jacksonville embraced the movies. , also known as the 5 Points Theatre and Riverside Theatre, opened in 1927. It was the first theater in Florida equipped to show the new “talking pictures” and the third nationally. It is in the section of town and was renamed as the Five Points Theater in 1949.

The , also opened in 1927, is in downtown Jacksonville and is one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces that were built in Florida during the boom of the 1920s. Since that time, Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for . Notable motion pictures that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville since the silent film era include the classic thriller, .

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An Affair Too Remembered

Most public opinion surveys had Cunningham running ahead of Tillis through the campaign. And Tillis wasunpopular with some Republicans for publicly disagreeing with Republican President Donald Trump on occasion he was even booed at a Trump rally in 2019 and drew serious primary opponent who later dropped out.

But then in early October, news broke that Cunningham, who is married and has children, in the spring and summer had an extra-marital affair with a woman who is married to a wounded Army veteran. The indiscretion took place amid one of the nations most-watched U.S. Senate races.

The news damaged Cunninghams public persona as a family man.

The Tillis campaign quickly capitalized on the news with highly critical advertising and public comments.

Cunningham apologized for his behavior and said he would not discuss it further. This led to a harrowing news conference on Oct. 9 when reporters repeatedly questioned him about the affair and he refused to answer. Following that news conference, Cunningham cut off media access for the rest of the campaign.

The Democrats in general also limited their in-person campaign activities out of concern for the coronavirus pandemic. That may have affected their performance throughout the ballot.

Tillis, after he recovered from COVID-19, resumed campaigning and was far more accessible.

Some Democrats think the affair was a factor in the loss.

I think it played a big role in some quarters, she said.

Republicans Close In On Democrats In Michigan North Carolina Senate Races

  • Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

    4:21 AM MYT

FILE PHOTO: Local resident Sarah Blanchard marks her ballot while her three-year-old son Parker plays at her feet on the first day of the states in-person early voting for the national elections in Durham, North Carolina, U.S. October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

WASHINGTON Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina pulled even with his Democratic challenger, and in Michigan, the Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat cut into the Democratic incumbents lead, Reuters/Ipsos polls showed on Tuesday.

There are about 12 competitive U.S. Senate races this year, 10 with vulnerable Republican incumbents and two with vulnerable Democrats. To have a majority in the Senate, Democrats need to pick up three seats if the party wins the White House, which gives the vice president a tie-breaking vote, and four if not.

Here are the latest results for three Senate races on which Reuters/Ipsos is polling:


* Voting for Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham: 47%

* Voting for Republican Senator Thom Tillis: 47%

* Cunningham led Tillis 46%-42% in the prior week.

* 12% said they had already voted.


* Voting for Democratic Senator Gary Peters: 50%

* Voting for Republican challenger John James: 45%

* Peters led James 52%-44% in the prior week.

* 28% said they had already voted.


* Voting for Democratic challenger and former astronaut Mark Kelly: 52%

* Voting for Republican Senator Martha McSally: 41%

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Tillis Colleagues Introduce Bill To Block Democrats Irs Snooping Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and his Republican colleagues this week introduced the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act, a bill to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from implementing Democrats plan to give the agency access to transaction information of virtually every American.

President Biden and Democrats want the IRS to have full access to the personal financial information of nearly every American with a job so they can audit hardworking middle class Americans and make them foot the bill for their tax and spending spree, said Senator Tillis. I am proud to introduce this legislation to stop this intended IRS overreach and protect the financial privacy of hardworking Americans.


Thom Tillis: A Republican In Need Of Outcomes

Thom Tillis, Cal Cunningham U.S. Senate debate from North Carolina

VIDEO: Senator Tillis on why being an effective Senator and producing results means being willing to reach across the aisle. to watch the video. to download the video. Im tired of talking heads and pundits and people who have never produced a conservative outcome trying to tell me how to get a result. Ive got a strong conservative record in North Carolina, whether its Second Amendment, property rights, life, I can go down a very long list. But that way Ive accomplished that is by not being mad about being conservative. Its by being productive and convincing Democrats to join with us on bills that make sense. You have RINOs and DINOs . Ive told people I want HIPPOs: Highly Independent People Producing Outcomes. Weve got to be willing to turn to the people in both conferences who hold extreme views and say youre clearly not here to produce an outcome, youre here to make a point. Well, Im here to make a difference, and Im looking for other people who want to make a difference. Senator Tillis has worked across the aisle to tackle problems and produce outcomes.

Tillis, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, has worked across the aisle to support North Carolina military families and military installations:

  • Secured over $25 million that paves the way for Seymour Johnson Air Force Base so home a squadron of KC-46 Air Force Tankers.

Tillis is leading on solutions to reform our nations broken immigration system:

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Memo: Ideology Still Matters In North Carolina

To: Team TillisFrom: Paul Shumaker, General Consultant, Thom Tillis for SenateDate: August 4, 2020RE: Ideology Still Matters In North Carolina

If you already have fatigue from the media and special interest groups pushing meaningless polls that are more aimed at advancing partisan agendas than predicting the outcome of the election, then you need to read this memo. None of the public polling weve seen to date considers all of the important trends currently impacting our state and this race. To know what it takes to win North Carolina, you have to actually know North Carolina.


The structural makeup of the state is such that both candidates in any statewide race start at parity. Republicans are 30% of the voting population, with one in ten of the party willing to vote for a Democrat. Democrats are 36% of the voting population, with one in five willing to vote for a Republican. The one in five are holdouts from the old Democratic Party of the South that Ronald Reagan pulled into his winning coalition in 1980.


The state is still an ideological right of center state -20 points right of center on average. Republicans own the right, but they dont own the Unaffiliated voters. They have to win them, as well as win the one out of six Democrats who still call themselves conservative, in order to be victorious statewide.


Cal Cunningham Concedes To Senator Thom Tillis In North Carolina

By Nicholas Fandos

Cal Cunningham, the Democrat challenging Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, conceded the race on Tuesday after a protracted vote count, as the incumbent appeared headed for a narrow victory in a crucial swing state that would bolster his partys hold on the Senate.

Mr. Tillis, 60, had been one of the Democrats top targets this year, a decidedly unpopular first-term Republican in a fast-growing and increasingly competitive state. But he was able to capitalize on unexpected Republican strength in North Carolina to outrun Mr. Cunningham, who was damaged by late revelations of an extramarital affair.

With a vast majority of votes counted, Mr. Tillis was leading by just under 100,000 votes, according to Edison Research, in an election that drew more voters and political spending than any in the states history. Mr. Tillis took a lead on election night and never lost it, but because of an influx of mail-in ballots, the result was still not official on Thursday, long after most other races were called.

In a pre-emptive victory speech last week, Mr. Tillis said North Carolinians were letting everybody know that the truth still does matter, letting everybody know that character still matters, and letting everybody know that keeping your promises still matters.

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Who Is Thom Tillis

Thom Tillis, who turned 60 in August, was elected as North Carolina’s junior senator in 2014.

Tillis was born in Jacksonville, Florida but his family moved more than a dozen times during his childhood. Tillis never attended the same school two years in a row, as his family lived in New Orleans, as well as Nashville, Tennessee. He has a bachelor’s degree in technology management from the University of Maryland.

Thom Tillis lives with his wife, Susan, in Huntersville, North Carolina. They have two grown children and two grandchildren, according to his campaign bio.

Thom Tillis’ public service career began as the PTA president of his daughter’s high school. He was also a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was voted to the North Carolina House of Representatives. From 2011-2014, he served as speaker of the North Carolina House.

Museums And Art Galleries

Thom Tillis wins North Carolina GOP Senate primary

The is an in Jacksonville’s neighborhood. It was founded in 1961, following the death of Ninah Mae Holden Cummer, who bequeathed her art collection, house and gardens to the museum. Its galleries display one of the world’s three most comprehensive collections of , as well as large collections of American, European, and Japanese art. The grounds contain two acres of Italian and English gardens begun by Ninah Cummer.

The is a museum funded and operated as a “cultural resource” of the . Tracing its roots to the formation of Jacksonville’s Fine Arts Society in 1924, it opened its current 60,000-square-foot facility in 2003 next to the Main Library downtown. The museum features eclectic permanent and traveling exhibitions, and a collection of over 700 works.

The , in downtown’s , specializes in science and local history exhibits. It features a main exhibit that changes quarterly, plus three floors of nature exhibits, an extensive exhibit on the history of Northeast Florida, a hands-on science area, and the area’s only theater, the .

is a historic built in 1798. The house of , barn, kitchen, and slave cabins have been preserved.

Alexander Brest, founder of Duval Engineering and Contracting Co., was the benefactor for the on the campus of . The exhibits are a diverse collection of , artifacts, , and , , porcelain, and rotating exhibits of the work of local, regional, national and international artists.

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Internet Technology And Copyright

Tillis opposes net neutrality. In 2017, he co-sponsored the Restoring Internet Freedom Act, a bill to nullify the Federal Communications Commissions Open Internet Order. In March 2017, Tillis voted for the Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal that removed the FCC’s internet privacy rules and allowed internet service providers to sell customers’ browsing history without their permission.

In May 2020, Tillis voted against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bar warrantless surveillance of web browser history. In April 2020, Tillis, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property panel, wrote that he was concerned that the Internet Archive‘s “National Emergency Library” initiative, which temporarily expanded access to its 1.4 million-book collection during the COVID-19 shutdown, violated copyright law. He argued that the Internet Archive was deciding to “re-write copyright law at the expense of authors, artists, and creators” the Internet Archive argued that it was a licensed library in the state of California and that the Copyright Act of 1976 “provides flexibility to libraries and others to adjust to changing circumstances.”

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