Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66

Kay Hagen.
Illustration: Axios Visuals/Aïda Amer

Former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) has died after a 3-year battle with encephalitis, an inflammatory brain condition, the Charlotte Observer reports.

The big picture: Hagen climbed from being a Capitol Hill intern to her state's first female Democratic senator. She was elected in 2008, beating Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, but was defeated by Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in 2014.