Raleigh, N.C. — Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr faces a four-man primary next Tuesday in his bid for a third six-year term on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Greg Brannon, a Cary obstetrician who also ran for Senate two years ago, retired Greensboro businessman Larry Holmquist and retired judge Paul Wright of Mount Olive are also seeking the Republican nomination for Senate.
Holmquist has never held elective office, but he remembers the moment he decided to run for Senate.
"The news came across the radio at 2 o'clock that the Senate has decided to fully fund Obamacare, and Mr. Burr had voted to fund Obamacare," Holmquist said.
Burr said that vote was part of a larger budget bill, and he noted he has consistently led the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act, voting dozens of times against the health care law and introducing three replacement plans.
"I'm not sure anyone can match that record in the United States Congress," Burr said.
Holmquist says Burr should have done more, but he acknowledges he knows little about the senator's proposed replacements.
"I have not studied Sen. Burr's replacement plan in great detail. Shame on me for that," he said.
Both men are familiar, however, with the immigration issue that has become a key point of debate in the presidential campaign. Neither supports a path to citizenship for the millions of people in the U.S. illegally.
"I deal with too many people searching for U.S. citizenship, and they go through a very long and tedious legal process. Nobody should be placed in the front of the line, and nobody should have to go through a different process than what they did," Burr said. "We've got to separate those two. I think we can do it, and we can do it today. Unfortunately, too many people want to use this (issue) for political reasons."
"The people that entered our country illegally need to go back to the countries that they came from, and if they still want to come to America, they need to start the process again and follow our legally established procedures and follow our immigration laws," Holmquist said.
Brannon and Wright didn't respond to requests for interviews.