RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The candidates in North Carolina's expensive U.S. Senate race will engage in their first debate Wednesday night.
Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is set to meet Republican Thom Tillis on live television. They are fighting for one of a handful of seats the GOP needs to win to retake the Senate in the final years of President Barack Obama's presidency.
Hagan is a first-term senator considered vulnerable in a state that Republican Mitt Romney won in 2012. She's turned the Senate race into a referendum on how Tillis has run North Carolina's Legislature as House speaker. He is an architect of the state government's Republican takeover.
Tillis has stuck to painting Hagan as an Obama Democrat, citing her vote for the president's signature health care overhaul.