Under the Dome

Special session likely to boost legislators in contested races

Sen. Buck Newton: 'We have been called on to put a stop to this nonsense'

VIDEO: State Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson Republican, speaks at beginning of a committee meeting introducing House Bill 2 which would prevent local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances and opening bathrooms for people to use based o
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VIDEO: State Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson Republican, speaks at beginning of a committee meeting introducing House Bill 2 which would prevent local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances and opening bathrooms for people to use based o

Wednesday’s special session shined a national media spotlight on several legislators who will be seeking higher office in the fall.

Legislative leaders were responsible for naming the bill’s sponsors and which committees would hold the hearings. In the House, the bill went through the Judiciary IV Committee, while the Senate opted for the Judiciary II committee.

Here’s a look at which legislators might have gotten a political boost from Wednesday’s proceedings:

Sen. Buck Newton: He’s the Republican candidate for attorney general, and he served as the bill’s sponsor in the Senate. That means he introduced the legislation in the Senate committee meeting and on the Senate floor. Newton’s Democratic opponent, Josh Stein, resigned from the Senate earlier this week to focus on the attorney general campaign.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest: Forest faces a rematch of his 2012 race against Democrat Linda Coleman. As president of the Senate – a largely ceremonial role – he issued the proclamation calling for the special session and presided over the Senate session.

Rep. Tricia Cotham: The Mecklenburg County Democrat launched a campaign for Congress in the newly redrawn 12th District earlier this week. She was among the first to speak out against the bill on the House floor. In the Democratic-leaning district, whoever wins the June 7 primary will likely win in November.

Rep. Rodney Moore: The Charlotte Democrat is also running for Congress and faces Cotham and several others in the June 7 primary.

Rep. Dan Bishop: The Charlotte Republican is looking to move up to the Senate this fall in the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Rucho, who is not seeking another term. Bishop sponsored the bill and spoke extensively about it on the House floor. He faces Democrat Lloyd Scher in November.

Rep. Hugh Blackwell: The Burke County Republican faces a challenge from Democrat Tim Barnsback in November. He chaired the House Judiciary IV Committee meeting and public hearing.

Sen. Shirley Randleman: The Wilkesboro Republican faces a challenge from Democrat Michael Holleman. She chaired the Senate Judiciary II Committee meeting and public hearing.

Video: Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte, NC, introduces House Bill 2 in committee Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The bill preempts local governments from opening bathrooms for people to use according to how they identify their gender.

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