Thom Tillis wins North Carolina GOP Senate primary

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from FoxNews,

Thom Tillis, the North Carolina House speaker, won the state’s Republican Senate primary on Tuesday, setting up a battle against Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan in the fall.

Tillis, considered the GOP establishment’s candidate, topped Tea Party-aligned candidate Greg Brannon and pastor Mark Harris. Four other Republicans also sought the nomination.

Tillis had the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Right to Life Committee and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. National party leaders have targeted Hagan as part of their effort to try to gain control of the Senate.

Hagan, whom Republicans have made a top target in their drive to win a Senate majority in the fall, won renomination over a pair of rivals with about 80 percent of the primary vote.

Tillis, giving his nomination victory speech, continued his criticism of Hagan, saying she’s too closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and has failed to halt President Obama’s most destructive policies, chiefly the federal health care overhaul. Hagan voted for the law.

“Our republic was founded on separate but equal branches, a system with checks and balances,” Tillis told cheering supporters at a Charlotte hotel. “But Kay Hagan hasn’t provided any balance whatsoever when it’s come to having a check on Obama. She’s done nothing but abandoned her post for the last six years.”

Tillis scarcely had time to savor his victory before the Democrats unloaded on him Tuesday night.

“No one in the country has done more for the Koch brothers than Thom Tillis — cutting public education nearly $500 million, cutting taxes for the wealthy while refusing pay raises for teachers and killing an equal pay bill,” the party’s Democratic senatorial committee said in a statement referring to the billionaire businessman brothers whom party leaders hope to make into national whipping boys in the fall campaign.

The National Rifle Association countered for Tillis, saying in a statement of its own that “Thom has long been one of most effective gun rights advocates in North Carolina.”

Hagan is among the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents in a campaign season full of them, a first-term lawmaker in a state that is ground zero in a national debate over the health care law that she and the Democrats voted into existence four years ago. Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, has run about $7 million worth of television commercials criticizing Hagan for her position on the law.

Hagan has portrayed herself as a middle-of-the-road U.S. senator who fights for the middle class and veterans and would prevent out-of-state conservatives from essentially buying a Senate seat with their ads criticizing her.

“This election is a simple choice between two very different records.

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