Tillis endorses Cawthorn opponent in upcoming GOP primary

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 2:06 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - U.S. Senator Thom Tillis announced this morning he was endorsing a state senator running against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, and not the incumbent congressman.

Cawthorn was elected two years ago to the state’s 11th District but has angered several Republican lawmakers over recent comments.

Tillis said he was endorsing State Senator Chuck Edwards in the GOP primary.

“The 11th Congressional District deserves a congressman who is fully dedicated to serving their constituents. Unfortunately, Madison Cawthorn has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives, and voters now have several well-qualified candidates to choose from who would be a significant improvement. I believe Chuck Edwards is the best choice,” said Tillis.

Earlier this week, Cawthorn claimed orgies and cocaine use was taking place in Washington. After a meeting with Cawthorn, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty told CNN that the freshman congressman said the allegations were untrue or exaggerated.

“I just told him he’s lost my trust. He’s going to have to earn it back, and I laid out everything that I find is unbecoming,” McCarthy said. “And should - you can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s got a lot of members very upset.”

Two weeks ago, Cawthorn called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” in a video to supporters.

Cawthorn faces seven other candidates in the May 17th GOP primary in the Western North Carolina district.

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