The North Carolina Republican Party voted to formally censure Sen. Thom Tillis at the party’s annual convention in Greensboro on Saturday, with at least one delegate citing Tillis’ support for LGBTQ+ rights and immigration reform for the decision.
The senator – who has served in the Senate since 2015 – has a history of working with moderates on both sides of the aisle on a wide range of issues.
He was part of a bipartisan group of Senators who pushed a bill to codify same-sex and interracial marriage, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year. Tillis also worked across the aisle to push a bipartisan immigration proposal earlier this year.
A state party delegate told CNN that Tillis’ support for the same-sex marriage law and efforts on the immigration proposal were among the reasons cited by delegates for the censure.
Tillis was censured on the same day Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence gave remarks at the state’s convention, North Carolina GOP spokesperson Jeff Moore told CNN.
Former North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory condemned the censure vote and called on other state Republicans to support Tillis in the wake of the vote.
“I join former Governor Jim Martin in opposing the censure against Senator Thom Tillis,” McCrory said in a tweet. “It’s time also for all NC state and federal elected republicans to stand with Thom and publicly voice their opposition to the action taken at our convention.”
Tillis is the latest Republican lawmaker to be censured by their state-level Republican organization in recent years. Texas Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales was censured by the Texas Republican party earlier this year “for a lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities.”
Gonzales’ support for the same-sex marriage law and opposition to House Republican immigration proposals were cited as among the reasons for the party’s censure.