Under the Dome

White GOP men stand out in early voting

October 19, 2010 

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CORRECTION

An item in Under the Dome on Tuesday about the state's new mini-motor pool in downtown Raleigh incorrectly reported the time allowed for state car reservation and use. State employees can use the vehicles for day trips and request them up to an hour ahead of time.

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The largest group of early voters in North Carolina is made up of white Republican men, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Democracy North Carolina, a campaign watchdog group.

During the 2008 Democratic sweep, black Democratic women led all groups during the 17 days of early voting. But during the first three days of early voting this year, it is white Republican men.

"Early voting doesn't favor one party or another, but reveals who's most organized and enthusiastic about making their voices heard," said Bob Hall, director of Democracy North Carolina.

So far early voting has been especially heavy for a midterm election. In the first three days of voting, 72,173 people across the state have cast early ballots.

That's more than the 70,645 votes that had been cast at this point in the 2004 presidential elections. At the same point in 2006, 35,728 votes had been cast. By comparison 266,649 votes were cast during the first three days of 2008.

So far this year, registered Democrats are edging out Republicans, 31,910 to 27,623.

In 2008, by contrast, Democrats were swamping Republicans by 3 to 1.

The heaviest early voting is in Brunswick County where there are hot campaigns for Congress and state and local offices.

Price has edge in money

Democratic Rep. David Price has a 2-1 money-raising edge over his Republican rival, B.J. Lawson.

Price has raised $744,567 for his campaign, compared with $331,726 for Lawson, according to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Price had spent $680,944 compared with $239,811 by Lawson.

As of the end of September, Price reported having $414,910 cash on hand with no debt, while Lawson reported having $94,370 on hand with $20,000 in debt.

Not only does Price have a commanding lead in money, but there is no indication that Lawson is getting any help from the national party or from any of the major outside groups aiding such GOP candidates as Renee Ellmers, Illario Pantano or Harold Johnson in their challenges.

Center honors forester

The late state Forester Stanford M. Adams will be honored Wednesday when a training center is dedicated in his memory at Jordan Lake Educational State Forest.

The N.C. Division of ForestResources will honor Adams during a 2 p.m. ceremony at the site in Chatham County. The 3,200-square-foot facility includes four classrooms and will be called the Stanford M. Adams Forestry Training Center.

Adams served as state forester and director of the forestry division from 1991 to 2006. He died in late 2009 after a long illness.

State starts motor pool

The state's motor fleet has a new five-vehicle "mini-motor pool" in downtown Raleigh to provide state employees easier access to state cars.

The motor pool began Monday at state parking Lot No. 1 on Salisbury Street, between Facility Management and State Capitol Police. The cars are available first-come, first-served for trips of up to 60 minutes. Interested state employees can call 733-3855.

State employees had complained that it was difficult to get to the motor fleet operation on Blue Ridge Road for quick trips.

By staff writers Rob Christensen and Jane Stancill

rob.christensen@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4559

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