North Carolina GOP delegates voted to censure Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who has worked on several key pieces of bipartisan legislation involving gun control and same-sex marriage.

Tillis’s Republican colleagues made the decision Saturday during a closed-door vote at their annual convention in Greensboro, N.C., which was attended by several of the party’s prominent presidential candidates, including former president Donald Trump, former vice president Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The vote passed 799-361, the News & Observer reported.

Although the move does not remove Tillis from office, it is a formal statement of disapproval. Tillis, who served for four years as speaker of the North Carolina House before heading to Congress in 2015, “keeps his promises and delivers results,” said Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for the senator.

“He will never apologize for his work passing the largest tax cut in history, introducing legislation to secure the border and end sanctuary cities, delivering desperately needed funding to strengthen school safety, and protecting the rights of churches to worship freely based on their belief in traditional marriage,” Keylin said.

The North Carolina GOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The decision to censure Tillis is the latest among similar actions taken by Republicans in other states, including in Texas and Wyoming. The Texas GOP censured Rep. Tony Gonzales (R) in March for voting in favor of bills for gun control and same-sex marriage. In February 2021, the Wyoming GOP took the same action against Rep. Liz Cheney (R) after she voted to impeach Trump.

Tillis has joined several bipartisan deals in Washington, including on topics considered flash points in U.S. politics. In 2022, he worked on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the most significant gun legislation since the 1990s — which had support from 15 Senate Republicans to pass on a 65-33 vote.

Also last year, he helped pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which codified protections for same-sex and interracial couples. Tillis has also broken with his party’s stance on immigration issues.

In a tweet on Saturday, former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory (R) condemned Tillis’s censure, calling on fellow Republicans in the state to “publicly voice their opposition to the action taken at our convention.”

But other Republicans said Tillis had crossed party lines too often. Jim Forster, a delegate from Guilford County, told the Associated Press that North Carolina needs Republicans “who are unwavering in their support for conservative ideals.”

“His recent actions don’t reflect the party’s shift to the right — in fact, they’re moving in the exact wrong direction,” Forster said of Tillis.

Across the country, Republican groups have condemned their colleagues as a way to challenge political actions they disapprove of.

In addition to the rebuke from the Wyoming GOP, Cheney — along with former congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — was censured by the Republican National Committee. The former House Republicans were criticized for participating in the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Arizona GOP also censured that state’s former House speaker, Rusty Bowers, after his testimony to the Jan. 6 committee about resisting calls to overturn his state’s 2020 presidential election results. The Arizona GOP chairwoman tweeted that Bowers was “no longer a Republican in good standing,” citing his stances on immigration and transgender rights.

Tillis told The Washington Post earlier this year that he carefully chooses which issues he takes on, deliberately avoiding those that could cost his career.

“I don’t vote for anything that I honestly believe will have a serious political consequence,” Tillis told The Post at the time. “I should say I haven’t. I may. If I got to a point where I felt strongly about something.”

Liz Goodwin contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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