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Some N. Carolina candidates consider Burr challenge, but are Democrats keen on beating Burr?

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan declined in June to attempt to challenge to Sen. Richard Burr next year. North Carolina and national Democrats have spent the summer looking for strong replacement candidates.

After other conventional high-profile picks again said no, another crop of potential candidates is now seriously considering getting in. They include Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey, former state Rep. Deborah Ross and current Rep. Duane Hall.

Those lack the same name recognition as Hagan, who lost her Senate seat to Republican Thom Tillis nine months ago. Political consultants say getting in soon is critical because millions of dollars must be raised to help build a candidate's name ID with ads.

A Washington group supporting Democratic Senate campaigns says there's plenty of time for a great candidate to emerge.

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