Businessman Jeff Miller, the 2010 Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 11th district, will endorse real-estate investor and Congressional candidate Mark Meadows, potentially giving Meadows a boost in the crowded GOP field to take on vulnerable Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler.
Miller will make the endorsement official Thursday at the opening of a Meadows campaign office in Hendersonville, N.C.
Miller, who lost to Shuler by fewer than 9 points last cycle, told Roll Call that Meadows has all of the qualities of a good Congressional candidate who could be successful against Shuler.
“I was not going to run [in 2012] as long as there was someone I really felt confidence in, and Mark is that guy,” he said.
Miller added that Meadows has “a good conservative foundation” and is also a compassionate person with a solid personal narrative.
“He’s a businessman. He started with nothing — that means a lot to me — and he parlayed a $25,000 loan into a very successful business,” Miller said.
Meadows is considered a top-tier candidate for the nomination, along with local district attorney Jeff Hunt. Other people in the race include tea-party-affiliated ophthalmologist Dan Eichenbaum, retired Army officer Spence Campbell, businessman Ethan Wingfield and economic development consultant Chris Petrella.
The filing deadline for North Carolina is Feb. 29. The primary is slated to be held May 8 with a runoff July 17.