VP Biden visits Chapel Hill to support Hagan - WNCN: News, Weather

VP Biden visits Chapel Hill to support Hagan

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Vice President Joe Biden visited Chapel Hill Friday to raise money in part to help Sen. Kay Hagan's re-election bid.

The fundraiser is being held at the Carolina Club. Biden arrived on the UNC campus around 1 p.m.

Biden entered the ballroom at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center at 1:34 p.m. and shook hands with donors.

Hagan introduced him, and Biden touted her credentials. He also criticized North Carolina for not expanding Medicaid.

"You lead and you lead the South and Middle Atlantic states and then you go through a period of what you have in Raleigh right now," he said. "But you always come back. You always come back better."

Biden said Hagan is the type of Senator who can work with Republicans.

"The only way to break through this gridlock is with people who can earn the trust of people on the other team, that's why she's so valuable," Biden said of Hagan.

The top ticket to the fundraiser cost $10,000, and the lowest-priced ticket was $500. State Sen. Josh Stein, Democratic Party chair Randy Voller and former UNC basketball coach Bill Guthridge were among those in attendance.

Hagan is facing a tough re-election in 2014. Also in the race on the Republican side are:

  • Cary's Dr. Greg Brannon, a gynecologist who recently got endorsements from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and conservative pundit Ann Coulter
  • North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis
  • Pastor Mark Harris of First Baptist Church in Charlotte
  • Nurse practitioner Heather Grant of Wilkesboro
  • Radio host Bill Flynn of Forsyth County

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh showed Hagan in a virtual tie with key challengers. She leads Grant 43/40, Tillis 44/42 and Harris 43/41. Hagan trails Brannon 44/43.

However, Hagan has the advantage of being an incumbent and her fundraising has been strong. Politico, the Washington-based website that follows politics closely, reported that she ended the month of June with $4.2 million in the bank.

Proceeds from Friday's event will go to a committee for Hagan, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the state Democratic Party.

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