Tillis looking to avoid runoff in NC Senate race - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Tillis looking to avoid runoff in NC Senate race

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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

Eight candidates are vying to win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination to face Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan in the fall.

House Speaker Thom Tillis has long been the favorite in the race but faces the biggest challenge from Mark Harris, a pastor from Charlotte and Dr. Greg Brannon, an obstetrician from Cary.

A poll released Monday by Raleigh's Public Policy Polling showed Brannon and Harris closing the gap with Tillis.

PPP said Brannon's support has risen eight-points in the final week of the campaign, and support for Harris is up four-points.

Tillis sits at 40-percent, according to the poll. GOP heavyweights such as Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Gov. Pat McCrory have all endorsed Tillis.

Tillis will need 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

The primary is a critical one for Republicans, who are trying to re-gain control of the Senate from Democrats.

Polls closed at 7:30 p.m.

More than 259,000 people cast ballots in person across the state during the early-voting period that ended Saturday.

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