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One North Carolina Democrat is reconsidering a Senate bid and another is looking at the race for the first time, giving the party some more options as it seeks to take out Republican incumbent Richard M. Burr in 2010.

Seven-term Rep. Bob Etheridge told the Raleigh News and Observer Wednesday that he is again mulling a challenge to Burr, after telling national Democrats to count him out earlier this year. Etheridge said has met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and planned to make a decision by September.

Etheridge is a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, and his moderate profile in the House would help in the traditionally right-leaning state. But he has a coveted post on the House Ways and Means Committee and admitted to the News and Observer that having to give that up for a Senate run is a definite deterrent.

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