52 Facts About Thom Tillis


Thom Tillis was elected to the Senate in 2014, defeating Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, and reelected in 2020, defeating Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham.


Thom Tillis became the state's senior US senator when Richard Burr retired in 2023.


Thom Tillis initially opposed President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to divert funding to a border wall, but voted for it after pressure from his party.


Thom Tillis was the oldest boy among six children, with three older sisters.


One of his brothers, Rick Thom Tillis, served in the Tennessee House of Representatives.


Thom Tillis then attended Chattanooga State Community College before receiving a Bachelor of Science in technology management from the University of Maryland University College in 1996.


Thom Tillis spent two and a half years there before being transferred back to Chattanooga, and then Atlanta.


PricewaterhouseCoopers sold its consulting arm to IBM in 2002 and Thom Tillis went to IBM as well.


Thom Tillis began his political career in 2002 in Cornelius, as he pushed for a local bike trail and was elected to the town's park board.


Thom Tillis ran for town commissioner in 2003 and tied for second place.


Thom Tillis defeated incumbent John W Rhodes in the Republican primary and went on to win the election unopposed.


Thom Tillis was campaign chairman for the House Republican Caucus in 2010.


The state house overseen by Thom Tillis restructured the state's tax code, redrew North Carolina's congressional districts, and passed legislation to sunset existing state rules and regulations and limit new regulations to ten years.


Thom Tillis said he requested the data to ensure the bill would not violate federal laws against discrimination.


In 2014, Thom Tillis announced that he would not seek reelection to the state House, instead running for US Senate against first-term Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.


Thom Tillis was criticized during the Republican primary for raising money from groups lobbying the state House.


Thom Tillis later touted their work on Tillis's campaign, including "psychographic profiles for all voters in North Carolina" that enabled "tailored messages" for particular audiences.


Thom Tillis was challenged in the Republican primaries by conservative businessman Garland Tucker, who spent $1.3 million to finance his campaign before dropping out in December 2019, after Trump endorsed all incumbent Republican senators up for election in 2020, including Tillis.


In September 2020, with less than two months to the next presidential election, Thom Tillis supported an immediate vote on President Trump's nominee.


Thom Tillis was criticized after he suggested that Hispanic people were harder hit because they were less likely to wear masks and practice social distancing.


Thom Tillis tested positive for COVID-19 on October 2,2020, after a White House event.


Thom Tillis broadly supported Governor Roy Cooper's handling of COVID-19, an unusual stance for a prominent North Carolina Republican.


In 2013, Thom Tillis supported a motorcycle safety bill that had been surreptitiously amended to include restrictions on abortion.


Thom Tillis said he regretted the phrasing "divide and conquer" but defended the remark's substance.


In 2014, Thom Tillis opposed increasing the federal minimum wage, and declined to comment on increasing North Carolina's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour after opposing the idea in 2010.


Thom Tillis suggested the government should not set a minimum wage at all, calling it an "artificial threshold" that "drives up costs" and could reduce jobs.


In January 2018, Thom Tillis was one of 36 Republican senators to sign a letter to Trump requesting he preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement.


In 2007, Thom Tillis voted in favor of a measure to give North Carolina a renewable portfolio standard; the state is second in solar energy production.


Thom Tillis opposed the Clean Power Plan and supported Trump's rollback of it.


In 2018, Thom Tillis said he believed climate change is happening and that humans may contribute to it, but remained unclear about whether he agrees with the scientific consensus on climate change that it is human-caused.


In November 2017, Thom Tillis opposed Trump's nomination of Michael Dourson for an EPA role.


In 2019, Thom Tillis was one of 20 senators to sign a letter asking the EPA to regulate the amount of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water, after reports that they would not.


In 2017, Thom Tillis was one of 21 senators to sign a letter condemning the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.


Thom Tillis has an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association, which spent $4.4 million during his 2014 Senate campaign, half in support of Tillis and half in opposition to Hagan.


In 2022, Thom Tillis was one of 15 Republican senators to support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which involved funding for state red flag provisions and crisis intervention orders, funding for school safety resources, stronger background checks for buyers under age 21, and penalties for straw purchases.


Thom Tillis opposes the Affordable Care Act and has repeatedly voted to repeal it.


In 2018, amid attempts to repeal the ACA, Thom Tillis introduced legislation to compensate for the ACA's requirement that insurers cover people with preexisting conditions.


Thom Tillis subsequently backtracked and said he could make improvements to the bill, and that it was merely intended to start a discussion.


In 2017, amid moves by Trump to cancel DACA, Thom Tillis proposed legislation to allow some undocumented youth brought to the US as children to apply for renewable five-year residency, and eventually citizenship, as a more conservative alternative to the bipartisan DREAM Act.


In February 2019, Thom Tillis wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post opposing Trump's national emergency declaration concerning the southern border, which diverted funding from the Department of Defense to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico.


In March 2017, Thom Tillis voted for the Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal that removed the FCC's internet privacy rules and allowed internet service providers to sell customers' browsing history without their permission.


In May 2020, Thom Tillis voted against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bar warrantless surveillance of web browser history.


Thom Tillis inserted an amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to make the unauthorized commercial streaming of copyrighted material a felony.


In 2015, in the Senate, Thom Tillis voted for an amendment to a non-binding resolution that would allow same-sex married couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage to have access to government resources.


On November 29,2022, Thom Tillis voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which passed the Senate and was enacted.


On May 28,2021, Thom Tillis voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack.


Since 2015, Thom Tillis has been a member of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.


Thom Tillis used to live in Cornelius, North Carolina, where he was elected to the town council.


Thom Tillis's brother, Rick, was a state representative in Tennessee.


On March 29,2021, Thom Tillis announced he had prostate cancer and would be undergoing surgery and treatment.


Thom Tillis said he had no symptoms and the cancer was discovered during a routine annual physical.


Thom Tillis encouraged all men to have regular prostate health screenings.