Incumbent: Kay Hagan (D)
Context: Kay Hagan was first elected in 2008 when anti-Republican sentiment swayed North Carolina to vote for Barack Obama. Since being elected, she has voted for Obamacare, which has led to 473,000 North Carolinians having their plans canceled. North Carolina has also experienced higher rate hikes than any other state. She is more liberal than most North Carolinians on a number of issues (e.g., abortion, healthcare, military, taxes, etc.) As a result, she is considered a particularly vulnerable Senator in the 2014 cycle. There are a number of Republican challengers and one will be required to attain 40% of the vote in the primary to avoid a runoff election.
Ted Alexander: “Mayor Ted” was the mayor of Shelby, NC until 2011 when he decided not to run for re-election. Prior to entering politics, Ted earned his Masters in Historic Preservation from Cornell and has made a career of downtown revitalization projects.
On his campaign website he promises to “support any and all efforts to repeal Obamacare” and calls it the most serious issue facing our country “because it not only represents a hardship for patients and families, but it epitomizes the out-of-control growth of government that Americans face on every side.” As for taxes and spending, he supports alleviating the tax burden and passing a balanced budget amendment. He opposes Common Core and instead wants to defund the Department of education and send the power back to the states.
Greg Brannon: Brannon is a Pro-Life OB/GYN with seven children (the three youngest adopted from China). He has Tea Party support and an endorsement from FreedomWorks. He also holds endorsements from Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and the popular libertarian-leaning US Senator, Rand Paul. As such, you should not be surprised that he is a constitutional scholar, able to quote paragraphs and verses to support his policy positions. He subscribes to a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Brannon is appealing a civil court ruling which finds him guilty of misleading two investors in his start-up tech company, Neogence, and requires him to repay $250,000. It is yet to be seen how this will affect his political hopes.
He did a video with the NC Tea Party which gives a good primer on him. You can view it below.
Heather Grant: Heather Grant is an Army veteran stationed at Fort Bliss, TX. There she served as an officer in the Army Nurse Corp. She is now a Family Nurse Practitioner in Wilkesboro. She bills herself as a constitutional conservative, much like Greg Brannon.
She supports a fair or flat tax from the federal government. She is familiar with the Laffer Curve (which you should read about here) and believes we on the left side of the curve.
She does not believe in federal subsidies for farmers, nor does she believe the federal government should continue to provide food stamps. On defense, she believes we should only go to war when we or our allies are under threat.
Mark Harris: Pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, Harris is the former head of NC Baptist Convention. As a result he garners strong evangelical support. He is a strong social conservative. He worked hard to get Amendment One, which amends the NC Constitution to define marriage traditionally, passed. He said being homosexual is a choice.
He’s argued that Obamacare needs to be appealed and replaced with free market solutions such as health savings accounts, availability to purchase policies across state lines, and serious tort reform.
He grew up in Winston-Salem and based on the early influx of signs around town, has support in his hometown.
Thom Tillis: Tillis is the Speaker of the House in the State Assembly. In that position with a Republican majority and Pat McCrory (R) as Governor, state income taxes have been significantly reduced, entitlement spending has been curtailed, voter ID laws have been put into place, and spending on early voting has been slashed by reducing the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. He has received support from Karl Rove’s American Crossroads which is running the television ad embedded below. In it, he calls Obamacare a “disaster” and said he’d do everything he could to undo Obamacare.
Although not an official endorsement, Governor Pat McCrory called him the most electable Republican in the field. At least in part, this is due to his sizable monetary advantage over his competition. The money he has collected from PACs and special interests have been called into question, but it is expected to require about $15 million to defeat Kay Hagan.
Other candidates include: Jim Snyder, Edward Kryn, Alex Lee Bradshaw. I have not left them out due to their positions, but due to the lack of favorable early polling and my own time constraints. If they rise towards the top of the pack, I will add them above. According to the Real Clear Politics Average from February and March, Tillis leads the way followed by Greg Brannon. Mark Harris sits in third while Grant and Alexander follow.
A debate among GOP Candidates is scheduled for April 22nd.
The Primary election will be held on May 6th with early voting starting on April 24th. I will continue to update this post until then.
After watching the first two debates, Thom Tillis was the most polished and the only one who consistently attacked Kay Hagan. I now expect him to win.
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