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Renee Ellmers
GOP beats back tea party in North Carolina; Clay Aiken in tight race
GOP beats back tea party in North Carolina; Clay Aiken in tight race

The GOP establishment's top choice for Senate from North Carolina, Thom Tillis, won the party's nomination over a tea party favorite Tuesday night, setting up a fall showdown against a vulnerable incumbent, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Hagan is considered one of the key Democrats to beat in November if Republicans are to retake control of the Senate. GOP elders including Mitt Romney, as well as Karl Rove's American Crossroads, backed Tillis over hardline conservative Greg Brannon and several other Republicans. Tillis, the speaker of the state House in Raleigh, needed 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff. Republicans need six more Senate seats to gain the majority. ...

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