Thom Tillis has won North Carolina's Republican Senate primary and will take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.
The state House speaker and favorite of national Republican leaders beat seven other candidates Tuesday.
He received 45 percent of the vote with more than one-third of precincts reporting unofficial results. He needed more than 40 percent to avoid a runoff.
Tea party favorite Greg Brannon was second at 26 percent, followed by Charlotte pastor Mark Harris at 18 percent.
Tillis ran on his legislative record as an architect of the Republican takeover of state government starting in 2011.
"Kay Hagan helped make this mess. I want you all to grab a broom and let's sweep Kay Hagan out and let's sweep Harry Reid to the back row," said Tillis before a room packed with supporters in uptown Charlotte.
Hagan easily won her primary Tuesday against two opponents. There will also be a Libertarian candidate in the fall election.