CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- U.S. Senate candidate the Rev. Mark Harris has hired a former chief of staff at the North Carolina Republican Party to run his day-to-day campaign.

Harris announced Tuesday that Mike Rusher is his campaign manager. Rusher held the chief of staff post while Robin Hayes was state GOP chairman. Hayes is a co-chairman of Harris' campaign and has close political ties to Harris consultant Tom Perdue.

Rusher also previously worked in Senate leader Phil Berger's office and in get-out-the-vote efforts for the Republican Party.

Harris is a Charlotte pastor and outgoing Baptist State Convention president. He plans a six-city fly-around Oct. 2 to formally kick off his campaign.

At least four Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination next May. The winner is likely to take on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

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