A week to the day before the Republican primary in the U.S. Senate race, it’s clear that Republican Thom Tillis and his supporters are scrambling to finish above the 40 percent threshold to win outright.
“Thom Tillis, a bold conservative who balanced our budgets and reduced regulations,” intones an announcer in the North Carolina commercial that criticizes first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. “Conservative Thom Tillis. He’ll fight Washington instead of joining them.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber is holding two events with Tillis in Raleigh and Charlotte to formally announce its support of his campaign – which it telegraphed weeks ago after its leaders voted to endorse his candidacy.
Gov. Pat McCrory will attend the Raleigh event. He also is expected to endorse Tillis.
The effort joins TV and radio ad campaigns from two super PACs supporting Tillis and his campaign’s final push to take support from opponents Greg Brannon and Mark Harris.
A new Public Policy Polling survey scheduled for release Tuesday morning is expected to show a big bump for Tillis, putting him above the runoff line.
*** The final U.S. Senate debate featured more fireworks than the previous two combined as Republican Mark Harris made a final push. Read about it in the Dome Morning Memo.***
The Charlotte pastor criticized Greg Brannon for not supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. And he highlighted a recent civil verdict against Brannon that found he owed $500,000 for misleading investors in a technology company he helped start.
Harris pivoted later to hit House state Speaker Thom Tillis for pushing political appointees who were generous campaign contributors. And he accused Tillis of undermining the effort to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage by saying it would likely be repealed in 20 years.
“It is so critical that we have someone that is electable,” he said minutes into the debate. “There are two individuals on this platform tonight that carry with them baggage that I believe Kay Hagan will use to rip them apart.”
The attacks began in answering the first question and ended in Harris’ final statement, bookending a debate that featured more contentious moments than two earlier forums. ... But the debate did little to shake Brannon or Tillis, who reiterated his support for the marriage ban and emphasized his accomplishments in the General Assembly. Read more here.
“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?” Obama said after being asked at a press conference in the Philippines about criticism of his record. “My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely. And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.” Read more here.
Griffin’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that Palin had endorsed his bid to defeat GOP incumbent Rep. Walter Jones in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. Her PAC also is expected to contribute to the campaign. “I consider Governor Palin to be the epitome of a principled conservative and her endorsement reinforces my message that I will give eastern North Carolina the conservative representation we deserve,” Griffin said.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court by the United Church of Christ, marks the first time an entire denomination has joined the marriage battle. UCC, headquartered in Cleveland, has more than 1.1 million members and 5,100 local churches. North Carolina is home to more than 24,000 members and 155 churches.
The plaintiffs say state prohibitions, including a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2012, violate their First Amendment right of freedom of religion. And they are asking the federal courts in the Western District of North Carolina to overturn the ban as quickly as possible. Read more here.
On Friday, attorneys for VonCannon filed an application of their intent to file a lawsuit for libel and slander against Keep Citizens United, which backs Berger in the 6th district race, over a campaign ad.
VonCannon also struck back Friday with a TV ad about Berger’s prosecutorial record as Rockingham County district attorney and claims he offered a child rapist a plea-bargain deal for a three-year sentence.
Berger’s campaign responded late Friday with a letter threatening legal action and a press release calling VonCannon “a liar” for implying that the defendant in question, James Dunlap, received only a three-year sentence. Read more here.
Hopefuls to succeed Clodfelter meet in forum. Read more here.
Area researchers will help guide new e-cigarette regulations. Read more here.
What Mecklenburg County wants this legislative session. Read more here.