Thom Tillis has won North Carolina's Republican Senate primary and will take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.
Unofficial results Tuesday show Hagen, the first-term senator from Greensboro, receiving 81 percent of the vote with more than 10 percent of the precincts reporting. Computer repair shop owner Will Stewart of Hampstead had 12 percent of the vote while military veteran Ernest Reeves of Greenville had 7 percent.
Hagan is a former banker who previously served in the North Carolina Senate before defeating incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008. Hagan describes herself as a moderate who's worked to protect the middle class and tried to work across the aisle with Republicans.
Thom Tillis of Huntersville, the state House speaker when the General Assembly turned Republican for the first time in 140 years, was the strongest fundraiser in the Senate GOP race and received support from Republicans including former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Pat McCrory.
Tillis 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. Hagan easily won her primary Tuesday against two opponents. There will also be a Libertarian candidate in the fall election.