The big news on the Republican side of the aisle – as far as candidates filing to run for statewide office –  is not who filed but who didn’t.

Garland Tucker who had already spent over $1.5 million of his own money to launch a primary campaign against Republican Sen. Thom Tillis announced he wouldn’t be filing.  He had tried to run to the right of Tillis and paint Tillis as a senator who had not supported President Donald Trump.  That plan ran into a huge roadblock when Trump endorsed Tillis and talked about how important his support in the Senate had been to the White House.

Tillis is a senator the Democrats have in their sights because they believe that North Carolina is a swing state.  But the fact that Tillis won’t have a big primary fight will allow him room to maneuver and won’t force him to deplete his campaign funds on a primary.  The Republican Party needs to keep Tillis in the Senate, so with national money coming in on both sides it’s going to be an expensive race.

The candidates who have filed for statewide races through Tuesday include: Democrats Trevor Fuller, Steve Swenson, Cal Cunningham, Atul Goel, and Erica Smith for the US Senate.

Republican Holly Grange for NC governor.

Democrats Bill Toole, Terry Van Duyn and Yvonne Holley and Chaz Beasley, and Republican Mark Robinson from Greensboro for NC Lieutenant Governor.

Republican Jim O’Neill for NC Attorney General.

Republicans Anthony Street and Tim Hoegemeyer for NC Auditor.

Republican NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler from Brown Summit filed to run for reelection.

Republican Commission of Insurance Mike Causey from Guilford County filed to run for reelection.

Democrat Jessica Holmes and Republican Pearl Floyd filed to run for NC Commissioner of Labor.

Democrat NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshal filed to run for reelection and Republicans Chad Brown and E.C. Sykes also filed to run for that office.

Democrat James Barrett filed to run for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Republican NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has announced he is running for Lieutenant Governor so it’s an open seat.

Democrat Matt Leatherman filed to run for NC Treasurer.