Former NC State football player and failed 2022 GOP Congressional candidate, Republican Bo Hines, won the endorsement of Club for Growth Action in the closely divided GOP primary for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. Club for Growth is a strong force in GOP primary circles, backing up endorsements with large sums of outside spending. The organization spent millions in the primary to elevate Ted Budd to the US Senate in 2022 over former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and former GOP Congressman Mark Walker.

In endorsing Hines, the organization said:

“In this crowded primary, filled with career politicians and Republicans In Name Only (RINOs), the high number of undecided voters makes the race extremely competitive. It’s crucial for voters to understand that Bo Hines stands out as the true economic conservative in this race.”

However, unlike last year, Hines no longer has the support of former President Donald Trump.

Trump, who endorsed Hines in the Raleigh-area 13th Congressional District in 2022, instead endorsed lobbyist Addison McDowell late last year in the Greensboro-area’s 6th Congressional District. Trump endorsed McDowell before McDowell announced his candidacy in the race.

In December, Trump wrote on social media that, if elected, McDowell will “work hard to Secure the Border, Defend the Second Amendment, Lower your Taxes, Grow our Economy, and Strengthen the Military.”

McDowell, a registered lobbyist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, previously worked for GOP Rep. Richard Hudson’s campaign and as a district staffer for Ted Budd when he was in the US House. McDowell is supported by several of the GOP powerbrokers in NC, including state Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger Sr.

After the 2022 election, several national media outlets wrote about how the Club for Growth and former President Trump were no longer seeing eye to eye.  

Former Congressman Mark Walker is also running for the Republican nomination, in an attempt to reclaim the Greensboro-area district he represented for three terms. Walker has been endorsed by another influential GOP aligned group, CPAC, which highlighted Walker’s consistent conservative voting in Congress.  

Walker is currently the best-known candidate in the district, having represented some of it for six years, as well as from his previous statewide campaigns for US Senate and governor, the latter of which he dropped to run for Congress.   

“We feel really good as of now,” Walker tells Carolina Journal. “We are just going to keep focused. We have strong name identification, and we think we are in the pole position at this point.”  

Walker tells CJ he continues to work with the faith community building support on the ground.

Democrat Kathy Manning current represents the 6th Congressional District in the US House, but is not seeking re-election after the district was reconfigured from a deep blue to a deep red district, in which the GOP primary winner is the heavy favorite in November.

Hines won the GOP nomination in the Triangle-area 13th Congressional District in 2022 in a crowded field, but lost to Democrat Wiley Nickel in the General Election. Hines who grew up in Charlotte and later attended Wake Forest Law School has been attacked by his other primary rivals for changing districts multiple times. Hines is currently running a television ad that features images of his previous appearances with President Trump.

Jay Wagner, Christian Castelli, and Mary Ann Contogiannis are also running for the GOP nomination.