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Tillis departure means new NC speaker in 2015

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By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - This year's General Assembly session has coincided with the ramped-up U.S. Senate campaign of House Speaker Thom Tillis.

His Senate bid also means fellow Republicans are thinking more about whether they'll succeed Tillis as speaker.

There's a half-dozen or so GOP lawmakers saying publicly they'd be interested in the job. Each of them has key leadership positions. Some are helping raise funds for GOP candidates for the November elections. Several also have filled in for Tillis by presiding over floor debate - the speaker's most public responsibility.

The next session meets January to elect a speaker. Talk about a successor came earlier than usual because Tillis made clear the 2013-14 session would be his last in the House. Republicans must keep a majority to ensure the GOP keeps the post.

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