Some eastern North Carolina libertarians and Tea Party members are rallying around Dr. Greg Brannon (R) as their choice to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), a potential top GOP target this cycle.

Brannon, a local activist, announced his bid at a meeting of the Eastern Carolina Tea Party and Republican Liberty Caucus on Monday night. While he's little known statewide and starts the race as a long shot, the other Republicans who have shown the most interest in challenging Hagan hail from the statehouse and have low name identification, making the primary unpredictable.

Hagan has solid, if less than spectacular, poll numbers in the state, and Republicans will likely need to field a strong candidate if they hope to take her out.