Thom Tillis has won North Carolina's Republican Senate primary and will take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

Thom Tillis, the state House speaker and favorite of national Republican leaders beat seven other candidates Tuesday. Unofficial results show he received 45 percent of the vote. Tillis 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.

In his victory speech he gave during a party at the Omni Hotel in Charlotte, Tillis connected Hagan with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and attacked her voting record on the Affordable Care Act and other Democrat supported policies.

He told more than 200 supporters that there is a lot of work ahead and winning the U.S. Senate race won't be easy.

Sen. Kay Hagan, who is from Greensboro, easily won her primary Tuesday against two opponents. She spent primary day in Washington D.C. because the Senate was in session.  Sadie Weiner, her communications director, says  Hagan is honored to again have the support of North Carolinians and their nomination for U.S. Senate. She says Hagan is looking forward to facing off against Tillis.

There will also be a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate race in the fall election. Sean Haugh won his party's race and will also be on the ballot in November.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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