Fresh off big wins in key municipal races Tuesday, N.C. Democrats are trying to spin the results as a reflection on the Republican legislature. In Greensboro, Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Mayor Robbie Perkins by double digits, and in Charlotte, Democrat Patrick Cannon bested Edwin Peacock for mayor by 6 points. The Charlotte City Council has a 9-2 Democratic majority and the party won easily in Durham, Boone and recently Raleigh.
"Tonight was a referendum on the toxic Republican agenda that has rendered public education unrecognizable, rejected healthcare for thousands of North Carolinians and overreached on local control of municipal assets,” N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller said in a statement.
The spin is likely a bit of a stretch. Even though the state political parties pumped money into local races that held larger statewide themes, in most cases the final days of the campaigns focused on what matters at the local level.
Republicans claimed victory in the Fayetteville mayor's race by the narrowest of margins, where the Democratic candidate is refusing to concede.
"Congratulations to mayor-elect Nat Robertson for running an outstanding campaign and becoming the first Republican mayor of Fayetteville in decades," state GOP chairman Claude Pope said in a statement. "Despite an overwhelming party registration advantage for Democrats, Nat’s plans to reduce crime, increase economic development and improve infrastructure clearly resonated with Fayetteville voters across the political spectrum.”
Riding solid support in east, west and north Charlotte, Cannon won 53.02 percent to 46.78 percent. Countywide turnout was just under 18 percent. Read more here.
“I think people wanted leaders to be focused on local issues particularly transportation and keeping taxes low,” Stohlman said. “(Holcombe) had other issues she was promoting and it was taking away her focus on Morrisville.”
Holcombe has drawn the ire of both the National Rifle Association and Grassroots NC for asking Gander Mountain to stop selling semi-automatic rifles at its local store and for joining the Mayors Against Illegal Guns lobbying group. Read more here.
From the story: While briefing reporters Tuesday morning on the GOP’s path to winning control of the Senate, Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the NRSC will “do what we think gets us to a majority.”
“Would we spend money in primaries? Yes, if that’s the right move at the right time,” Collins said. “There’s no rules — I treat every state differently. The path to getting a general election candidate who can win is the only thing we care about.”
In a cycle where the GOP hopes to win back the Senate majority, the concern is that a flawed candidate could be nominated in an otherwise top pickup opportunity or a preferred candidate could be damaged for the general. Read more here.
Burr did not vote, one of eight lawmakers who missed it. His office did not return a message seeking comment about why he missed the vote or how he would have sided if he voted. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan — along with all Senate Democrats — voted “yea.”
“If you look around today and see a Republican governor and Republican legislature, we can all thank Jack Hawke.”
"He was not just an adviser,” McCrory said. “He was a mentor and a friend. He was like an uncle-father figure for me. He was a man with an extremely positive outlook on life. He had a big impact on my life in the last six years. I am going to miss his laugh, and I am going to miss my arguments with him. We always challenged each other. I loved him a great deal.” Read more here.
Prisoners sued the N.C. Department of Correction in 2007, challenging the lethal injection protocol as cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Read more here.
McCrory said improving education was “not a Democratic or Republican issue,” but public education has become a flashpoint for McCrory and the Republican legislature. Read more here.
"Begging the Governor’s pardon, but we’ve seen exactly how much can be done in 10 months – that’s why they’re protesting."
The Kaiser Family Foundation said that about 17 million Americans, including 684,000 North Carolinians, will qualify for federal subsidies on insurance premiums next year.
Kaiser’s estimate is significantly lower than a recent projection by Families USA, a national nonprofit, which said about 869,000 in North Carolina would be eligible for subsidized insurance. Read more here.
NC WARN, a Durham advocacy organization, is continuing its opposition to the merger that turned Duke Energy into the nation’s largest electric utility company, even though at this point it’s inconceivable that the deal could be unwound.
Wednesday’s arguments in Raleigh, expected to take about an hour, will be the first of two merger challenges that NC WARN has taken to the appeals court. The other case, several months behind in the queue, has not been scheduled. Read more here.
Republicans say that off-year turnout, which normally favors the party not in the White House, will be enough to knock out the longtime Democrat. But McIntyre could get a boost from Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election effort. In any case, McIntyre is on track for another rough re-election race. Read more here.