Updated:HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP)
U.S. Senate candidates in North Carolina will hold another meeting for voters to learn where they stand on issues, but state House Speaker Thom Tillis won't be among them again.
A group called Lake Norman Conservatives scheduled a candidate forum Thursday evening at a restaurant north of Charlotte and minutes from where Tillis lives. Forum organizers say Tillis cited a previous engagement in declining the invitation.
At least four others seeking the nomination in May are scheduled to attend, including Dr. Greg Brannon and the Rev. Mark Harris. The primary winner is likely to take on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in November.
Tillis' absence isn't surprising -- the forum's moderator recently picketed outside a Tillis fundraiser featuring Karl Rove in Charlotte. Tillis hasn't attended at least two other forums.