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National Republican chairman joins Tillis in NC; Hagan speaking at Democrats' gathering


RALEIGH, North Carolina — The two major-party U.S. Senate candidates in North Carolina are kicking off the weekend by trying to energize their allies with speeches and visits from out-of-state politicians.

Republican Thom Tillis scheduled rallies Saturday with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) in Raleigh and Greensboro. Later, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson planned to join Tillis in Cornelius.

Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan was slated to attend the North Carolina Democratic Party's annual Western Gala in Asheville. She'll address the dinner crowd, as will keynote speaker Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is considering a run for president in 2016.

In-person early voting begins on Thursday.

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