North Carolina state Speaker Thom Tillis announced Friday he will challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
The Republican has long been expected to take on the first-term senator, who is among the most vulnerable incumbents facing re-election next year. Heâ€™s the first major challenger to Hagan, though other Republicans are eyeing the race.
â€œFriends, I have decided to run for the US Senate against Kay Hagan in 2014,â€ Tillis wrote in a morning tweet. â€œI hope to earn your support.â€
In an interview with the Associated Press, Tillis said defeating Hagan would help Republicans win the Senate majority and â€œturn the country in the right direction.â€ He plans to officially enter the race next week.
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