Garland Tucker's decision on Monday's opening day of state candidate filing appears to clear the GOP field of well-funded rivals to Tillis, who's seeking a second term next year.
Tucker wrote donors that while he had put $1.6 million of his own money into the campaign, he would need to raise $2.5 million more to compete well in the March 3 primary. He says access to "national conservative funding has been effectively cut off" by Trump's endorsement of Tillis in June and the impeachment proceedings.
A Tillis campaign news release after Tucker's announcement focused on potential Democratic challengers next fall.
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