Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) is one of the most vulnerable incumbents to run for re-election next year. As a result, she needs to hit hard against her opponents, define them, and pray that it resonates throughout the state to provide a buffer against an anti-Democrat groundswell. One candidate that could set off an anti-Hagan wave is Thom Tillis. He’s the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, who announced his intention to challenge Hagan – and is only trailing her by seven points in the polls.
In a Hill story written by Alexandra Jaffe today, it noted how the DSCC said that,” Tillis created disaster in Raleigh, leading the ultra right wing North Carolina legislature and becoming a favorite of the special interests - the same special interests who now fund a super PAC to elect Tillis to the U.S. Senate, ” according to Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Additionally:
Barasky goes on to charge that Tillis has a “long record of putting his own career ahead of creating jobs” in North Carolina.
The DSCC cites criticism from one of Tillis’ colleagues in the state House that his Senate intentions had affected his legislative efforts.
And it notes a super PAC launched by Tillis allies to support his Senate bid, called Grow NC Strong. Tillis also received support for his legislative agenda from a nonprofit group called North Carolina House Legislative Partners, which ran an ad in March touting his plans in the statehouse.
The release comes just days after Tillis announced his bid to challenge Hagan, who’s considered by Republicans one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the nation.
Then again, Democrats have been attacking Tillis on this angle for weeks, and hasn’t produced stellar results in moving Hagan towards a safe re-election. The NRSC has described the anti-Tillis campaign waged by the left as ‘stale.’
Washington doesn’t seem to do anything right these days, and Kay Hagan doesn’t seem to do anything at all – her own staff even admits she seems to ‘play it safe,’ on the tough issues. North Carolina will have a new Senator after election day, 2014,” said NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring.
Additionally, given that this isn’t a presidential election year, Hagan can’t bank on the coattails of a national Democrat’s campaign. Thus, her vote to expand gun checks in the failed Manchin-Toomey bill could’ve been a fatal blunder.