A North Carolina Republican state senator is spending more than $100,000 to attack Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in a new ad, potentially laying the groundwork for a challenge to Hagan in next year's mid-term elections.

The television spot, airing in the Greensboro, N.C., market, touts state Sen. Phil Berger's role in passing the state's strict voter I.D. law. and attacks Hagan for her opposition to it — and comes off much like a Senate campaign ad in the process.

"Shouldn't you need a photo I.D. to vote?" a male narrator says in the ad. "Liberals like Obama and Kay Hagan say 'no.' "

Hagan faces a tough re-election bid in 2014, and Democrats have picked North Carolina as one of six key states they must defend, but a clear Republican challenge to Hagan has not yet emerged.

Berger's ad appears to be a strong indicator that he is looking to fill that role, and hoping to project advertising and spending heft as proof he's up to the challenge.