NC House speaker tested in first Senate debate

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Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 4:05 PM

DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — A rival to North Carolina's Republican Senate primary front runner is picking at Thom Tillis' legislative record in the primary's first head-to-head encounter on live TV.

The state House speaker and three other leading candidates held their first debate Tuesday evening at Davidson College north of Charlotte. The election is two weeks away.

Greg Brannon says North Carolina took on new national education standards criticized by conservatives under Tillis' watch in the legislature. He also suggests that Tillis wanted to operate a state online health insurance exchange.

Tillis says he's done everything he can to halt the national health care law.

The primary winner will take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. The closely watched Senate race is considered a bellwether — Republicans must win six more seats for a majority.

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