Under the Dome

Rubio lines up two state lawmakers to head NC team

Two state lawmakers are set to lead efforts in North Carolina to help Florida Sen. Marco Rubio secure the Republican presidential nomination.

State Rep. Jason Saine and state Sen. Andrew Brock will lead Rubio’s campaign in the state, Dome has learned.

Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, was appoined to the House in 2011 and is serving in his second full term.

Brock, a Republican who represents portions of Iredell, Rowan and Davie counties north of Charlotte, is in his seventh term.

An official announcement is expected as soon as Thursday.

Brock and Saine say they are backing Rubio as a new face and new leader for a new generation.

Rubio, 44, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.

He has held ground among North Carolina Republicans. The most recent Elon University poll reported Rubio as fourth among Republican voters in the ongoing primary campaign, behind businessman Donald Trump, retired surgeon Ben Carson and former businesswoman Carly Fiorina.

He was just ahead of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

A similar survey recently by Public Policy Polling also reported Rubio as fourth among Republican candidates among North Carolinians. But the polling firm also noted that Rubio has high favorability ratings – second only to Carson, who has seen increasing support in North Carolina.

“Ranking second both for most favorable honors and for most frequent second choice honors is Rubio,” PPP said in an analysis. “63% of GOP voters have a positive opinion of him to only 19% with a negative one, and 15% say he’s their second choice. The only other Republican in double digits when it comes to second choice is Fiorina...”