Dispatches from the campaign trail, Jan. 27, 2014

USSenate2014election
• Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan entered 2014 with a huge cash advantage over House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, the presumed frontrunner on the GOP side. Hagan expects to have at least $6.8 million in the bank, in contrast with Tillis, who has around $1.7 million.

• In other Senate news, the N.C. FreeEnterprise Foundation estimates that nearly $8 million has been spent on the race by outside groups supporting or opposing Hagan and Tillis. Meantime, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato has moved the N.C. Senate race from “leans Democrat” to “tossup.”

• Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, has entered the focus of groups on all sides of immigration reform efforts, based on recent comments she made about allowing some illegal immigrants to gain legal status.

• Laura Fjeld, a former attorney for the UNC system, says she has raised more than $275,000 for her campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 6th Congressional District, far outpacing Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis.

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