Race between Tillis and Hagan heats up

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Although it seems as if N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan have been running for election forever, based on the number of television ads we’ve seen over the past two years, the race is really only beginning to heat up.

Tillis and Hagan will face off Wednesday in the first of two televised debates that will bring the candidates together in one of the few opportunities to compare their positions side by side.

Based on recent surveys, North Carolina voters should be interested. Despite millions of dollars poured into television ads by outside interest groups, most polls show the race is a dead heat.

The extended session of the N.C. General Assembly probably contributed to the lack of political discourse so far. With Labor Day here at last, candidates for political office at all levels will begin amplifying their messages to reach voters.

It’s unfortunate that state voters will have only two opportunities to see Hagan and Tillis go head to head from the same stage.

The race is important, not only for North Carolina, but for the nation, since partisan control of the U.S. Senate is very much in play this November.

All the more reason to pay close attention as the debates begin Wednesday.

Never mind the over-hyped commercials. The substance in this race is important for all of us.