Most hopefuls for North Carolina office are down to the final hours to enter the 2014 elections or wait to see if they avoid campaign rivals.
The three-week filing period for candidates from official political parties ends at midday Friday at the State Board of Elections and at elections offices in all 100 counties.
Some highly publicized races are already quite full. Eleven people had filed by late Thursday for the U.S. Senate seat that Kay Hagan wants to keep. Another 11 want to succeed retiring 6th District Rep. Howard Coble.
Entering Friday, no one had run to challenge 9th District Rep. Robert Pittenger. And Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin was unopposed to run for chief justice, AP reported.
*** Plenty more politics below including a look at some of the more unusual U.S. Senate contenders, all in the Dome Morning Memo.***
The N.C. Republican Party will hold a press conference Friday at 1 p.m. in Raleigh to criticize Democrat Kay Hagan.
On Saturday, top Democratic officials, including David Price, G.K. Butterfield, Bill Bell and Paul Luebke, will join a canvass in Durham to educate people about buying insurance on the federal healthcare exchange. The event takes place at 10:30 a.m. at the Nehemiah Christian Center in Durham.
On Sunday, McCrory and commerce department officials convene a tourism conference in Charlotte that runs through Tuesday.
The field of challengers to Sen. Kay Hagan is already crowded – seven Republicans candidates have filed. Throw in a couple of write-in and third-party hopefuls, and the race bubbles over from competitive to chaotic.
Long-shot candidates aren’t uncommon in any election year, but the higher-than-average number this time could be attributed to both Hagan’s perceived vulnerability and recent national trends, said David McLennan, a political analyst and professor at Peace University.
“Just look around the country the past two years, and you see incumbent senators losing in the primary, losing to someone who’s never run before,” McLennan said. “Both Democrats and Republicans are saying this is going to be a very tough race. People are saying well, it could happen.” Read more here.
Now the Hoke County businessman is back – as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate. He faces a rare Libertarian primary with longtime party activist Sean Haugh.
During a memorable interview on WBT radio, he told host Keith Larson that “there’s a special place in hell for people like you.” Larson called D’Annunzio “a delusional, deranged human being” – and still the interview continued.
At one point, then-GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer took the unheard of step of calling D’Annunzio “unfit for public office at any level.” Read more here.
The department released its final review Thursday, favoring a plan to allow the intense underwater seismic air gun blasts that environmentalists and some members of Congress say threatens the survival of whales and dolphins.
The oil industry wants to use the air guns to find out how much oil and gas lies along the U.S. Atlantic seabed. Federal estimates of a relatively modest 3.3 billion barrels of oil date from the 1970s and 1980s and are considered too low. Read more here.
Gov. Pat McCrory has talked up that requirement while defending why he signed the law last year. Read more here.
At a ceremony in Chapel Hill, Avila, a Republican from Raleigh, received the Lassiter Award, an honor given to a non-journalist who has worked to promote ideals that journalists themselves value, including open government and widespread protection under the First Amendment. Read more here.
Why Democrats can win on Obamacare and still lose the midterms. Read more here.
Wake County leaders agree on school construction deal. Read more here.
Former N.C. utility regulator hired by utility. Read more here.