Watch CBSN Live

Dole Gets New Democratic Challenger

North Carolina state senator Kay Hagan (D) has decided to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) after announcing earlier in the month that she would not be running.

“To make a difference in North Carolina, we need change in Washington," Hagan said in a video statement on her website. "We need a Senator to make our voice heard. We need a Senator who will stand up, lead and make a difference. That's what I've done, and it's what I'm going to keep doing in Washington."

In her online announcement, she said she supported “ending the war in Iraq” so the money could be invested “back here at home.”

Hagan, whose state Senate district covers Greensboro, enters the race as a major underdog. Party officials had attempted to court several other Democrats, including Gov. Mike Easley (D-N.C) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), with higher name recognition.

Hagan said earlier in the month that she didn’t plan on running, but changed her mind as other potential candidates opted not to run. She will be facing investment banker Jim Neal in the Democratic primary.

A poll conducted in late-September by Elon University shows Dole in strong shape for re-election. Fifty-percent of voters said they approved of Dole’s performance in office, while only 25 percent disapproved.