Kay R. Hagan was born in Shelby, North Carolina, on May 26, 1953. Hagan earned a BA in 1975 from Florida State University and a JD in 1978 at Wake Forest Law School.
While at Wake Forest, Hagan met her husband, Chip. Hagan has lived with her husband in Greensboro, North Carolina, for over 30 years. and have three children; Jeanette, Tilden and Carrie.
Before Kay Hagan was elected Senator of North Carolina, she worked as a banker and was the vice president at NCNB (now the Bank of America). Hagan left the bank after 10 years to work with local charities, participate more in her community and was elected to the North Carolina State Senate from 1999 to 2009.
Hagan is a Democrat, but she doesn’t believe in partisan bickering. According to Kayhagan.com, Hagan was named one of North Carolina’s “Ten Most Effective Senators” for three terms in a row by the non-partisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.
While working in the North Carolina State Senate, Hagan focused on economic development, worked to build technology and infrastructure for healthcare and jobs, helped pass predatory lending laws, and helped get money for underfunded federal homeland security and law enforcement programs.
One issue that’s important to Hagan is education. Hagan supports the growth of early childhood education, the “Learn and Earn” program, programs that prevent school dropouts, wrote a law “that requires all high school students to complete a course on financial literacy before graduating”, strives to make education more accessible and affordable, and has worked to raise teacher pay.
Hagan also is a proponent for fairness in the workplace. Hagan co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which “reestablished a fair rule for filing claims of pay discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religion, age or disability”.
Hagan would make an interesting Democratic political candidate as she has strong connections to the military. Hagan’s husband is a Vietnam veteran, and her father-in-law is a two star general in the Marine Corps. Hagan also has a nephew that’s a fighter pilot in the Air Force, and a nephew who is a Navy SEAL. She has increased pensions for National Guard members, expanded educational benefits for those in the service and their families, and assisted North Carolina’s families when their family members are deployed.
Hagan’s other political priorities include:
– Budget and economy
– Ethics and accountability
– Health care
– The middle class
– Military and veterans
– Minorities and women
– National security, Iraq and Afghanistan
– Rural communities, agriculture
– The Second Amendment
Although Hagan won a tough election against Elizabeth Dole, her approval rating is currently suffering. Hagan’s popularity will have to rebound significantly if she faces Dole again.
According to the Public Policy Polling blog, Hagan’s current approval rating in her state is at 29%. Forty-two percent of voters disapprove of her work, but 90% of voters who disapprove of Hagan’s work are against the Democrats’ health care plan.
Hagan’s policy work described above along with her dedication to national security would make her appealing to moderate Democrats and some Republicans, while her more liberal leaning beliefs, such as her equal opportunity work and her ethics policies, make her appealing to left thinking Democrats.
If the health care plan begins to gain popularity, and the public starts to favor Democrats’ policies, Hagan may gain back her popularity by 2014, the year she’s up for re-election, which would help her bid for the presidency in 2016.
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