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Outside Groups Making Big Ad Buys For North Carolina Senate Race

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Two outside PACs are buying ads hoping to influence the North Carolina Senate race between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagen and Republican challenger Thom Tilllis. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Two outside PACs are buying ads hoping to influence the North Carolina Senate race between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagen and Republican challenger Thom Tilllis. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH (CBS Charlotte/AP) — Two independent groups on competing sides of North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race are running new television ads against their targeted candidates on abortion and education spending.

The Senate Majority PAC announced Monday another $800,000 ad buy covering all major TV markets in the state over nearly the next two weeks in support of Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. The commercial criticizes Republican nominee Thom Tillis for education cuts and North Carolina teacher pay, which is ranked low among the states, while he’s been House speaker.

An anti-abortion political committee called the Women Speak Out PAC over the weekend began running an ad critical of Hagan’s opposition to a bill last fall that would have banned later-term abortions. The PAC, described as a partner of the national Susan B. Anthony List group, plans to spend $100,000 on its first commercial for the race in the Raleigh TV market this week, said list spokeswoman Mallory Quigley.

“From now until Election Day, Women Speak Out PAC will communicate Sen. Hagan’s extreme position to North Carolina voters,” PAC President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a news release.

Senate Majority PAC, run by former aides of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, already has spent $6.6 million on the North Carolina race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Preserving the seat for Hagan is considered key for Democrats to retain control of the Senate.

The group’s latest ad attempts to link the spending reductions to a separate tax overhaul bill law that Republicans approved last year that cut tax income tax rates and removed many sales tax exemptions in North Carolina. But a sales tax cap on yacht sales remained in place, the ad reminds viewers.

“At the end of the day, voters know what Thom Tillis’ priorities are … and the contrast couldn?t be clearer,” Senate Majority PAC spokesman Ty Matsdorf said in a memo.

The commercials take different approaches in speaking to voters. The Senate Majority PAC uses wit by bringing what appears to be a teacher with her students to a dock to ask a yacht owner if they can come on board and hold class. The Women Speak Out PAC speaks to a mother and father whose daughter was born at 24 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would bar abortions after 20 weeks.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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