Trump endorses North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump has endorsed North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, handing a significant political asset to the first-term Republican senator seeking reelection next year in the closely divided state.

Trump tweeted late Tuesday his “full and total endorsement” to Tillis as he already faces a primary challenger. Garland Tucker has made Tillis’ initial opposition to Trump’s emergency declaration for a U.S.-Mexico border wall a campaign issue. Tillis later reversed himself and supported the declaration.

Trump praised Tillis for being someone who is “strong on the border and fights hard against illegal immigration.”

Democrats also are lining up to take on Tillis, including three current or former state legislators and a county commissioner.

North Carolina is a key presidential battleground state, too. Trump won there in 2016 by nearly 4 percentage points.

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