Hagan served in the Senate from 2009-2015 having defeated Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole in the 2008 election. Hagan narrowly lost her own re-election bid in 2014 to current Senator Thom Tillis. Prior to her time in Washington, Hagan spent ten years in the North Carolina Senate.
After leaving public life, Hagan faced many health challenges stemming from a tick-borne virus. One of her last appearances was in June at a ground-breaking ceremony at
Governor Roy Cooper remembered Hagan today as a fierce advocate for the state of North Carolina.
Kristin and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend Senator Kay Hagan. I’ve known Kay since our days in the legislature together. Kay was a fierce advocate for North Carolina, and she represented our state with courage and grace her entire career. She made it a mission to inspire young people – especially young girls – to enter public service, and she served as a role model to so many. North Carolina is mourning one of our best today.
U.S. Senator Richard Burr called Hagan a tireless fighter who was willing to work across the aisle to build a better state:
Brooke and I are deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely loss of Kay Hagan. Our prayers are with her family.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/Byc1Fw4Z8R
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) October 28, 2019
University of North Carolina System Interim President Bill Roper had kind words for Hagan as well.
“Kay Hagan’s bright spirit and charisma was always welcome and deeply inspiring,” Roper said in a prepared statement Monday. “As both a N.C. and a U.S. senator she was a champion for the military and their families, for those seeking healthcare, for consumers and for those less fortunate. She was a fearless public servant for the people of North Carolina, and a true friend. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family during this time. We will remember her fondly and miss her greatly.”
Hagan’s political career was marked in part by her vote for the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009, her support for abortion rights for women, and her opposition to Amendment One, the constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. On immigration issues, her record included a vote against the DREAM Act in 2010.
In 2013, Senator Hagan joined NC Policy Watch to discuss immigration reform, gun control measures, and her concerns as state lawmakers rejected Medicaid expansion. You can click below to hear that interview: