At this year’s annual NC GOP conference, held in Greensboro, North Carolina June 8-11, delegates from the Republican Party formally voted to censure Republican Senator Thom Tillis.
Tillis has served in the Senate since 2015, and has often received widespread praise for his bipartisan efforts.
According to a report carried by CNN, an unidentified delegate from the Republican party, which has maintained anti-LGBTQ sentiments in their platform since the 1980s, cited their primary reasons for giving Tillis the smackdown was his support of the Biden-sponsored same-sex marriage law and immigration reform, both considered hot button topics, but measures that were still given a bipartisan green light.
Not surprisingly, the vote came on the same day as speeches were delivered at the convention by Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Former Charlotte mayor and former one term Governor Pat McCrory, on the other hand, offered a surprising condemnation of the vote against Tillis.
“I join former Governor Jim Martin in opposing the censure against Senator Thom Tillis,” McCrory said in a tweet. “It’s time for all NC state and federal elected Republicans to stand with Thom and publicly voice their opposition to the action taken at our convention.”
As previous Charlotte mayor and NC Governor, McCrory remained steadfastly anti-LGBTQ throughout most of his career, as evidenced by his refusal to sign on to a standard city welcome proclamation for an HRC dinner that was held in the city; his attempt at trying to shut down a Charlotte LGBTQ Pride event and his attack on Charlotte for attempting to initiate LGBTQ protection policies by creating the notorious HB2 law.
Following a loss at a gubernatorial re-election campaign, a rumored rejection for some sort of cabinet appointment by former president Trump and failure to capture the nomination for a senate race, McCrory said in an interview that he did not regret his actions with HB2, even though they cost the state purported millions in revenue, backfired on his own future political aspirations and negatively impacted the state’s largely positive reputation.
Most NC Republicans Voted in favor of censure
An estimated 1,000 Republican delegates voted to censure Tillis behind closed doors. While the move does not impact his position as a senator, it indicates extreme dissatisfaction from the Republican party with his actions.
According to a comment carried by PBS News Hour and Associated Press, 81-year-old Guilford County Republican delegate Jim Forster was clearly dissatisfied with Tillis’s proclaimed “break with Republican Party ideals.”
“We need people who are unwavering in their support for conservative ideals,” Forster said in reference to Tillis, who has been willing to break with party stances on LGBTQ+ rights, gun control and immigration policy. “His recent actions don’t reflect the party’s shift to the right – in fact, they’re moving in the exact wrong direction.”
According to a statement from a spokesperson for his office, Tillis has no regrets about his bipartisan leanings. At press time, he had not replied to any comments or the censure via social media.