Hagan, Dole now racing to declare drilling support

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Both candidates for U.S. Senate are racing to declare their support for offshore drilling just three months after the two hopefuls opposed the idea.

A spokeswoman for Democratic candidate Kay Hagan said Wednesday that she supports drilling off the coast of North Carolina as a way to lower gas prices. Hagan has backed a measure that allows drilling as a package that includes investments in alternative energy.

That contradicts an ad released by Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole that accuses Hagan of opposing offshore drilling.

Dole herself once opposed the idea, and both candidates had at one time said it would hurt North Carolina's tourism industry.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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