Will former American Idol Clay Aiken make a bid to challenge Republican Renee Ellmers in the 2nd Congressional District? The Washington Blade, citing two unnamed sources, says he’s considering it. From the piece: “The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the 35-year-old Raleigh native has taken initial steps for a run, including consulting with political operatives in Washington, D.C., about a bid for the seat.
“One Democratic source said Aiken made phone calls to gauge support, talked to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has met with figures in Raleigh, N.C., about a potential bid. Although it’s unclear when Aiken might formally announce a decision, the source said Aiken is “actively considering” it and “sounding and acting like a candidate.”
The Blade reports that Betsy Conti, former chief of staff to then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, is consulting with Aiken. If Aiken does jump into the race, he wouldn’t be alone. Keith Crisco, the former Perdue administration commerce secretary, is also making a run against Ellmers, who faces a challenger from her own party. More from the Blade here.
*** Clay Aiken and Bev Perdue aren’t the only retro political names in today’s Dome Morning Memo. Find even more below. ***
...But a Common Core backlash, driven by critics who question the state’s decision to hand over control of its education standards to national groups, has complicated the decision on whether to adopt the national tests. The legislature in its budget prohibited the Board of Education from spending any money on new tests linked to the standards, including SMARTER Balanced, unless the legislature passes a law allowing it. Read more here.
“De Blasio’s speech was a bit like that. He left out the politician who more than any other kindled the Democrats’ renewed interest in economic inequality because that politician has been airbrushed from Democratic Party history. His name is John Edwards.” Read more here.
“For years, the map of political swing states has kept attention on places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, but the latest population figures show things are changing in a way that will make North Carolina and Georgia more competitive.
“According to Census estimates through July 1 made available Monday, North Carolina is now the 10th largest state, surpassing New Jersey and poised to overtake Michigan sometime next year.” Read more here.
What does it mean for North Carolina? Not clear yet. But they are speaking from the same hymnal as GOP Senate candidate Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte when it comes to the issues.
The photo requirement, which would start with the 2016 presidential election, was part of a sweeping 2013 election reform bill approved at the end of last year's legislative session. It also changed dozens of other voting and campaign rules. Groups including the U.S. Justice Department, the state chapter of the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union have sued Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Board of Elections over the voting changes. A judge has said no trial will happen until after the 2014 elections.
Janet Cowell’s State Health Plan problems persist. Read more here.
Marcus Brandon makes Governing magazine’s top state legislators to watch. Read it here.
Federal judge in Florida strikes down drug testing law similar to one McCrory vetoed and legislature overrode. Read more here.
Phil Berger makes GovBeat’s list of emerging stars. Read it here.