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Tillis backers form Super PAC for Senate bid

Supporters of House Speaker Thoms Tillis have filed paperwork to create a federal “SuperPAC'' to raise money for a possible U.S. Senate bid next year.

The SuperPAC, named Grow NC Strong, will enable backers of Tillis to collect and spend unlimited funds on behalf of his candidacy – so long as it is not directly tied to his campaign.

“Our state's failing economy is turning around under the leadership of Thom Tillis, and there's a reason for that: Thom understands North Carolina businesses,” said Champ Mitchell, the SuperPAC chairman. Mitchell is a retired lawyer and is the brother of former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell.

Others involved in the SuperPAC are Cindy Marelli-Watko, who was a senior executive with IBM and Accenture and Doyle Parrish, who is CEO of Summit Hospitality Group.

While Tillis has not formally announced that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan next year, he is widely expected to do so. But he will likely face Republican primary opposition.

Hagan leads prospective GOP opponents in 2014 race

North Carolina voters are divided about Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, but she leads any of prospective Republican opponents, according to a new poll.

Only 34 percent of voters approve of the job that Hagan is doing, while 36 percent disapprove, and 31 percent have no opinion, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm based in Raleigh.

But Hagan leads all potential opponents. She leads GOP Congresswoman Renee Ellmers by a 46-40 percent margin, Congressman Patrick McHenry by a 45-39 percent margin, and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx by a 47-40 percent margin.

She also leads Congressman George Holding by a 45-37 percent margin, Congressman Robert Pittenger by a 46-38 percent margin, state Senate leader Phil Berger by a 47-38 percent margin, and state House Speaker Thom Tillis by a 47-37 percent margin.

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