NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is headlining a fundraiser Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference for a tea-party-backed Senate candidate in North Carolina.
Greg Brannon, a physician, is one of a handful of Republicans hoping to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is a top GOP target in her bid for a second term. Brannon has collected the endorsements of Paul and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, though state Speaker Thom Tillis is the GOP front-runner.
Paul will follow up his mid-afternoon address at CPAC by appearing with Brannon at a McCormick & Schmick's near where the conference is being held. Tickets to the event cost up to $500, according to the online invitation . Brannon is one of the two most viable challengers to Tillis, for whom Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — Paul's fellow Kentucky Republican — has headlined a D.C. fundraiser. But Brannon's campaign took a recent hit when he was found liable in a civil suit for misleading investors about a company board he served on.
Still, Brannon picked up another Senate endorsement Thursday, when Lee announced his support. In a fundraising appeal, Lee wrote that "it is critical that conservatives win with a candidate who will not only commit to restoring the proper role of government, but also one who will put forward positive, specific policy proposals to get America back on track."
The primary is May 6. The general election race is rated Tilts Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.