Donald Trump makes a personal appeal to voters to back Renee Ellmers in a robocall released Saturday. | AP Photo
Donald Trump has inserted himself into one of the most contentious House primaries in the country this weekend, endorsing GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in her member-versus-member race in North Carolina.
Trump makes a personal appeal to voters to back Ellmers in a robocall released Saturday. She was “the first congresswoman to endorse me and she really was terrific and boy, is she a fighter,” Trump says in the call. It is the first time this election that Trump has picked sides in a congressional race.
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“I need her help in Washington so we can work together to defeat ISIS, secure our border and bring back jobs and frankly, so many other things,” Trump continues. “And Renee knows how to do it. She gets it. And together, we will make America great again.”
Ellmers faces fellow GOP Rep. George Holding and two-time Senate candidate Greg Brannon in a June 7 Republican primary for a new district. Court-ordered redistricting drew Ellmers and Holding into the same territory outside Raleigh earlier this year, guaranteeing that at least one incumbent will lose in Tuesday’s primary.
Powerful conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth have been working against Ellmers for weeks, running critical television and digital ads and sending canvassers door-to-door. Ellmers has also lost favor with anti-abortions groups that once backed her.
Trump narrowly won North Carolina’s GOP presidential primary with 40 percent of the vote in March, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who received 37 percent.