Gastonia will be ground zero this week on North Carolina's U.S. Senate race and the Republican fight against Obamacare.
Thursday night, four of the five announced Republican candidates vying for Democrat Kay Hagan's U.S. Senate seat will take part in a town hall forum sponsored by The Tea party of Greater Gaston County.
It will likely mark the first time the four -- Cary physician Greg Brannon, Charlotte pastor Mark Harris, Wilkes County nurse Heather Grant and Forsyth County broadcaster Bill Flynn will be at the same event. It's unclear whether House Speaker Thom Tillis was invited.
Earlier that day Tillis will be at a Charlotte fundraiser with Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush. The two will headline a noon fundraiser at Bank of America Stadium. There's no love lost between Rove and the tea party.
Earlier this year he created a group called the Conservative Victory Project to try to ensure the party nominate candidates who can win the general election. Rove and other Republicans are trying to avoid situations like those in Missouri and Indiana last year where tea party-backed candidates lost.
And Friday, the House Oversight Committee, with Chairman Darrell Issa will hold a field hearing at the Gaston County Courthouse. The hearing will be the committee's first anywhere on Obamacare, The title of the hearing: "Obamacare Implementation: Sticker Shock of Increased Premiums for Healthcare Coverage."
UPDATE 3:30. A Tillis spokesman said he was invited to the tea party gathering but was unable to make it.