RALEIGH: Long NC legislative session could impact Senate race - WNCN: News, Weather

Long NC legislative session could impact Senate race

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House Speaker Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan House Speaker Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan

 Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly said they hoped to be with the summer’s short session by the Fourth of July.

Plenty of work remains for the Legislature after Independence Day.

The General Assembly is addressing key bills and looking to hammer down a revised budget all while the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and House Speaker Thom Tillis heats up.

William Peace University political science professor David McLennan said the long summer session could impact the race, potentially benefiting Hagan.

Tillis remains in the middle of a budget battle with the North Carolina Senate.

“Thom Tillis can't go out and do campaign activities five days a week, seven days a week,” McLennan said. “It keeps him from talking about Kay Hagan, which is his number one task.”

Tillis said he doesn’t believe he is down slightly in polls because he is still in session.

“It's because Kay Hagan and dark money is spending about $4 million in this state trying to attack us,” Tillis said. “I think that when people see what we're doing in the Legislature, providing raises to teachers, protecting our environment, helping to grow the economy, I think that's all a plus.”

Hagan said it is because Tillis has been behind a “disastrous legislative agenda.” Hagan mentioned North Carolina teachers not receiving a pay raise in five years.

“There is a huge contrast in this race between me putting North Carolinians first and Thom Tillis' special interest agenda,” Hagan said.

Despite the lost time, McLennan adds Tillis can make up that ground on the campaign trail since a lot of voters don't actually start paying attention to the political races until after Labor Day.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Beau Minnick

Beau covers the North Carolina legislature, delivering valuable insights into state politics. More>>

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