Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2014

Posts in "North Carolina"

June 16, 2014

Kay Hagan Gets Help From EMILY’s List on Airwaves

Kay Hagan Gets Help From EMILYs List on Airwaves

Kay Hagan will get some help from EMILY's List for her re-election campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign will get a boost this week from EMILY’s List independent expenditure arm, which will attack her GOP opponent on the television airwaves.

The North Carolina Democrat faces state Speaker Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, in one of the most competitive and expensive elections this cycle.

The Women Vote! ad attacks Tillis for cuts to education that the state legislature made last year — one of a number of items passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that Democrats have used to attack Tillis.

It features a teacher, speaking about the effects those cuts had on her classroom. Full story

June 9, 2014

North Carolina Is Ground Zero for Unemployment Extension Fallout

North Carolina Is Ground Zero for Unemployment Extension Fallout

While the debate over an unemployment extension continues in Congress, Tillis helped cut the duration of North Carolina unemployment benefits to the shortest in the nation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Congress showing few signs of passing an unemployment extension in 2014, North Carolina’s tossup Senate race will be a key test of the issue’s political potency.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger, state Speaker Thom Tillis, have taken sharply different stands on unemployment benefits, and the issue could cut both ways.

Hagan backed the Senate’s unemployment insurance extension, and inserted a provision to restore federal benefits to North Carolina workers.

She’s attacked Tillis for taking a lead role slashing the benefits in North Carolina — now the least generous in the nation — while he credits the cut, in part, for the state’s shrinking unemployment rate.

Full story

May 20, 2014

Crossroads GPS Launches Ad Attacking Hagan in North Carolina

Crossroads GPS Launches Ad Attacking Hagan in North Carolina

Outside groups are spending heavily in North Carolina as Tillis challenges a Democratic incumbent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican-aligned outside group Crossroads GPS has launched an ad in North Carolina attacking Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on the president’s health care law.

The group said it put $3,550,000 behind the ad, which will run on North Carolina TV for four weeks. It’s the latest evidence that the race between Hagan and Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis will likely be the most expensive of the cycle.

The ad, which began running Tuesday, attacks Hagan for saying people would be able to keep their insurance and doctor once the Affordable Care Act took effect — which turned out to not always be true.

Full story

May 6, 2014

Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Tillis is the GOP's nominee in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis scored a major victory on Tuesday night, when he won the GOP primary outright to become his party’s nominee to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Tillis garnered 46 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race for him around 9:20 p.m. He defeated Greg Brannon, an obstetrician aligned with the tea party who had support from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who finished with 27 percent of the vote, and Mark Harris, a pastor, who had focused his appeal on social conservatism and was backed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who had 17 percent of the vote.

The Republican needed at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a late-summer runoff against one of his opponents.

Hagan is considered one of the cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents and a top target for Republicans in their quest to take back the Senate. Full story

May 5, 2014

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Tillis makes a few phone calls to voters along with with phone bank volunteers at the Tillis for US Senate Campaign Headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., on Sunday, May 4, 2014, two days before North Carolina's primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Less than 24 hours before polls open in North Carolina on Tuesday, high-profile reinforcements are sending support in the state’s competitive primary for Senate.

On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney endorsed the primary’s front-runner, North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.

Tillis must receive more than 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff this summer, and national Republicans are helping him get his best shot at ousting the incumbent, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November. If there’s a runoff, Tillis will have to spend two months battling the second place finisher in the primary — either Dr. Greg Brannon or Mark Harris, a pastor — instead of being able to focus on Hagan.

“Tomorrow is the first step in regaining a majority in the US Senate,” Romney wrote in an email blasted out by the Tillis campaign. “I hope Thom and I can count on your vote tomorrow in this critical primary!” Full story

April 29, 2014

Republicans Predict Top North Carolina Senate Candidate Avoids Runoff

Republicans Predict Top North Carolina Senate Candidate Avoids Runoff

Tillis is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several months, the Republican Senate primary in North Carolina has been a race for second place: state Speaker Thom Tillis, with his superior financial resources, is a shoo-in for first, while Dr. Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris vied for second place to challenge Tillis in a runoff.

But, one week before the primary, many local operatives now expect Tillis will reach the 40 percent threshold on Tuesday to avoid a runoff later this summer with the second-place finisher.

The winner of the primary will face Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in one of the cycle’s marquee competitive contests. For Tillis, the stakes to avoid a runoff are high because it would force him to spend another two months running against a Republican opponent — instead of Hagan.

What’s more, the state’s General Assembly comes back into session on May 14, eight days after the primary. Tillis would have to balance his duties as speaker while still campaigning for the nomination.

But, many local Republicans now see that scenario as increasingly unlikely, arguing that Tillis will most likely win the primary outright.

“About two weeks ago, I would’ve said we would definitely see a primary runoff,” said Chad Adams, the director of Priorities NC, an advocacy group focused on promoting limited government, who is not aligned with any campaign. “But looking at the landscape now and how we’re shaping up, it looks like that gap is closing.” Full story

August 28, 2013

N.C. GOP House Hopeful Signs New, Old Team | Shop Talk

Former state Sen. David Rouzer announced Wednesday the campaign team that will lead his rematch bid against Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

The new team includes two recent National Republican Congressional Committee officials and some returning players from his 2012 team. McIntyre defeated Rouzer in 2012 by about 700 votes and the race is rated a Pure Tossup  by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

 New: 

  • General Consultant: Brock McCleary of Long Nyquist & Associates. McCleary was the NRCC’s 2012 polling director/deputy political director; he left the committee not long after last year’s elections.
  • Media/digital consultants: Brad Todd and Guy Harrison of On Message, Inc. Harrison was the NRCC’s 2012 cycle executive director.

Full story

June 5, 2013

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan's opponent is building his team for 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Speaker Thom Tillis has started to build his campaign team for his Senate bid in North Carolina, one of the top targeted races of the 2014 cycle.

Tillis announced his challenge to Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., last week. He’s the first well-known Republican to enter the race.

His team includes: Full story

March 20, 2013

Shop Talk: Hagan Signs Coady, Brees to Re-Election Finance Team

Shop Talk: Hagan Signs Coady, Brees to Re Election Finance Team

Hagan is staffing up for her 2014 re-election campaign (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., continues to staff her re-election campaign by bringing on two new aides: John Coady will serve as her finance director and Erika Brees will serve as her state finance director.

Brees and Coady are veterans of another targeted incumbent’s re-election race: Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign in Missouri last year. Coady held the same title with the McCaskill campaign, while Brees was her Missouri deputy finance director.

The junior senator from North Carolina is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the 2014 cycle, although her GOP opponent is unclear. In the meantime, Hagan continues to bring on operatives for her re-election. She announced last week that she had hired Preston Elliott to be her 2014 campaign manager.

The list of Hagan’s potential opponents includes obstetrician and tea party supporter Greg Brannon, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Renee Ellmers, state Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry.

March 12, 2013

Shop Talk: Hagan Hires Preston Elliot as Campaign Manager

Shop Talk: Hagan Hires Preston Elliot as Campaign Manager

Hagan hired a campaign manager for her 2014 re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., announced Tuesday she has hired Preston Elliott to be her 2014 campaign manager in a race that’s expected to be among Democrats’ toughest this cycle.

An experienced operative, Elliott served as campaign manager for Sen. Jon Tester’s re-election campaign in Montana, one of the most heavily targeted races of the 2012 cycle. He is also a veteran of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2010 re-election effort, and he was the deputy political director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“I am so pleased to have Preston on board as my campaign manager,” Hagan said in a statement. “He has a proven track record of success, and with his help and the help of North Carolinians of all walks of life, I expect to cross the finish line with a victory in November 2014.”

Obstetrician and tea party supporter Greg Brannon is the first Republican challenger to enter the race.

But Republicans say Brannon won’t be the only — or the strongest — contender. They name state House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Renee Ellmers, state Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry as potential candidates.

November 26, 2012

North Carolina: Shuler to Run Government Affairs for Energy Giant

North Carolina: Shuler to Run Government Affairs for Energy Giant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the country, announced Monday that retiring Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., will be a senior vice president for federal government affairs for the behemoth utility.

The company said Shuler will work on building the D.C.-based federal affairs team and help inform employees about federal issues.

“Though I will be leaving public office, my family and I remain committed to public service,” Shuler said in a statement. “As a private citizen, I will also continue to promote deficit reduction efforts, increasing domestic energy production to put our country on a path to energy security and breaking through the hyper-partisan gridlock that plagues our great nation.”

September 4, 2012

Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre: A Tale of 2 N.C. Democrats at Party’s Convention

Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre: A Tale of 2 N.C. Democrats at Partys Convention

(Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike McIntyre joined several House Democratic colleagues speaking to the North Carolina delegates in Charlotte today. Missing was embattled Rep. Larry Kissell, who was only a few miles away.

Redistricting in North Carolina made both Kissell’s 8th district and McIntyre’s 7th significantly more Republican. But while Kissell is keeping his distance from the Democrats gathering in Charlotte — particularly President Barack Obama — McIntyre is speaking out.

At the delegation breakfast, McIntyre touted his seniority in the House and took some digs at his Republican opponent’s plans to cut education spending and overhaul Medicare.

McIntyre said state Senator David Rouzer wants to turn Medicare into “a voucher system” and “give seniors a check and say: good luck.” Full story

March 20, 2012

North Carolina: Richard Hudson Begins Airing TV Ad

Republican Richard Hudson, a former Congressional aide running in North Carolina’s reconfigured 8th district, begins airing an ad today that uses humor to hit vulnerable Rep. Larry Kissell (D).

Sitting on a porch, Hudson introduces his bulldog, Hoover, at the beginning of the spot. He compares his pooch to Congress.

Full story

February 13, 2012

North Carolina: Kissell Challenger Jumps Districts

North Carolina insurance executive Daniel Barry, who entered the GOP primary to take on Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) in August, today announced he is now running in the open 9th district, currently represented by retiring Rep. Sue Myrick (R).

Barry, who lives in the 9th, had trouble gaining traction in the crowded Republican field looking to take on the deeply vulnerable Kissell and will probably have a better shot of winning in the 9th district. Full story

February 10, 2012

Race Rating Change: Heath Shuler’s Exit Makes Seat Likely Republican

At some point over the next nine months, Hayden Rogers, retiring Rep. Heath Shuler’s (D-N.C) former chief of staff, will probably drive by Mount Mitchell, about an hour outside Asheville.

At more than a mile high, it’s the tallest American peak east of the Mississippi River — and it should serve as a good reminder for Rogers of the steep uphill slog he faces as he attempts to keep the 11th district on the Democratic side of the ledger. Full story

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