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POLITICS: PennAve

NC Senate candidate Thom Tillis to attend Washington fundraiser at lobbyist's home

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2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis will look to pad his fiscal advantage over his Republican primary opponents in the race against Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., at a Washington fundraiser next month.

Tillis, the candidate favored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to take on Hagan, will attend a Dec. 12 fundraiser at the Capitol Hill home of Geoffrey Gray, a lobbyist who has represented Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, banks and financial firms, among other industries.

It will cost from $500 to $1,000 for individuals attending the breakfast, or $1,000 to $2,500 for political action committees, according to an invitation obtained by the Washington Examiner. Gray hosted another fundraiser for Tillis in July.

Tillis has received consistent support from the so-called "Republican Establishment" for his Senate bid. Political adviser Karl Rove endorsed Tillis and attended a fundraiser in North Carolina on his behalf last week. The campaign fundraising committees overseen by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both contributed to Tillis' campaign during the most recent fundraising quarter.

But Tillis' standing in the Republican primary field has been complicated somewhat by competition from Greg Brannon, a physician who secured a major endorsement from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Tillis nevertheless holds a major fundraising advantage over all of his Republican opponents, and brought in $829,000 during the most recent quarter, including a $250,000 loan to his campaign.

The national fundraising interest in Tillis' bid will likely be high. Republicans see Hagan as a prime target in the 2014 midterm elections. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling found Hagan in a statistical tie with Tillis, Brannon and Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor vying for the Republican nomination.

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