Few women have risen faster or gone further in the legislature than state Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro.
Hagan, a 55-year-old corporate lawyer, has been philosophically in tune with the moderate Democrats who run the state Senate and readily adapting to its horse-trading, deal-making atmosphere.
She is hoping her 10-year legislative record will help propel her to the U.S. Senate.
But Republicans, including her opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, argue that Hagan has been too ready to raise taxes and increase government services, and that she is too closely tied to the entrenched Democratic leadership in the state Senate.
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No matter how her rise is viewed, her record in the state legislature suggests that Hagan would be a pro-business Democrat, more liberal on social issues and willing to be a loyal team player with the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate.