CHEROKEE — Four of his five former Republican rivals for the party's U.S. Senate nomination are showing they back state House Speaker Thom Tillis. Second-place finisher Greg Brannon stayed away from a party convention, raising questions about tea party support.
Tillis joined former Senate candidates Mark Harris, Heather Grant, Jim Snyder and Ted Alexander on stage Saturday as North Carolina Republicans convened at the state's only casino in the mountain town of Cherokee.
Democratic activists met at the same time in Raleigh. U.S. Senate incumbent Kay Hagan's convention speech never mentioned President Barack Obama and sought to link Tillis to outside groups helping his campaign.
The Hagan-Tillis race was featured at both events because North Carolina's contest is among a handful that could tip the partisan majority and control of the Senate.