Hagan’s top GOP opponent launches first ad

The top Republican seeking to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) this year is up with the first ad of the GOP primary.

State House Speaker Thom Tillis's (R) first ad criticizes both the Democratic and Republican parties, knocks Obamacare as a "disaster" and ties Hagan to the president's health-care law.

"Kay Hagan enabled President Obama's worst ideas. She refuses to clean up his mess, so you and I have to clean up hers," Tillis says in the ad, which will start airing next week.

The ad buy is $300,000, according to Tillis's campaign.

Tillis faces a primary with tea party activist and physician Greg Brannon, who has the backing of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Tillis's campaign got off to a bit of a rough start, including some lackluster early fundraising, but he appears to have rallied the GOP establishment behind his candidacy.

Hagan is a top GOP target in a state that Mitt Romney carried narrowly in 2012.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | January 2