- Associated Press - Monday, May 6, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A retired North Carolina investment company executive has taken the first step toward challenging U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in next year’s Republican primary.

Garland Tucker of Raleigh filed on Monday candidate committee paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. Political adviser Carter Wrenn says people close to Tucker have been urging him to run, and that Tucker will make a formal statement later in the week.

Tucker is the former CEO of Triangle Capital Corp. While long involved in conservative politics, Tucker’s never run for elected office.

Critics of Tillis have considered him ripe for a competitive GOP primary. Some hard-right conservatives were unhappy when Tillis initially said he’d oppose President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. He ultimately voted for it.

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