Garland Tucker III, left, is challenging U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in the 2020 Republican Primary.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of Huntersville has drawn a deep-pocketed primary challenger in his 2020 re-election bid.

Garland Tucker III, retired chairman and CEO of Triangle Capital Corp., filed paperwork Monday with the Federal Election Committee to run in the Republican primary for the Senate seat Tillis won in 2014.

Tucker, author of the book “Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Changed America — Jefferson to Reagan,” has served on the board of the libertarian John Locke Foundation and the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute.

Charles Hellwig, the former Wake County GOP chair and current 4th District GOP chair, is serving as campaign manager, and Republican political consultant Carter Wrenn is also working for Tucker, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.

Tillis, a former Cornelius Town Board member, drew criticism from some Republicans when he authored a February commentary in the Washington Post vowing to oppose President Donald Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency to help pay for a long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. Less than three weeks later, Tillis voted to support the president’s declaration.


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