WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We're still more than a year and a half away from the mid-term elections, but a challenger threw his hat in the ring to run for US Senate.
Wilmington was the first stop on Greg Brannon's campaign tour this morning. The Tea Party conservative wants to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan.
"I was raised by a single mom, I have a younger brother, grew up in a working class neighborhood," Brannon, an obstetrician from Cary, said. "I was the first member of my family to go to college. Fortunately I got a scholarship and was able to become a doctor. It's been the dream of my life, and I had the opportunity to live the american dream."
Now the conservative is calling out supporters in an effort to take over current Sen. Hagan's seat.
"I believe central planning has destroyed individual rights we have to get back to the understanding that when individuals are in charge of their freedom, society is at its best," Brannon said.
It's a race Hagan isn't focused on yet.
"I am so focused on the sequester, the situation on hand, the debt the deficit the impacts of the jobs and the economy in North Carolina," she said. "I am working hard in Washington right now."
In addition to what he stands for, the other question of the day: Why such an early start to campaigning?
"Being a non-politician, a servant citizen, I gotta get the name recognition out there, and I want to go around and spread the message of liberty and freedom," Brannon said.
He kicks off his race nearly two years before the election, talking with Wilmington voters.
"I said, 'I'll just come on out and talk to him and see if we can meet eye to eye,'" voter Gary O'Malley said.
Brannon's sign may be the first political sign you see pop up this year, but it certainly won't be the last.
From the Port City, Brannon planned to hit several other spots across the Tar Heel State during a two-day tour.