Dispatches from the campaign trail, Jan. 2, 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first installment of campaign trail reports for 2014. This signals the third consecutive election cycle Carolina Journal will provide political news from election races involving North Carolina candidates, campaigns, and events. Be sure to bookmark The Locker Room and check in every weekday morning for the latest — and tell your friends and colleagues to check in, too.

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Let’s get this thing started!

• The Washington Post‘s GovBeat blog names N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, an “emerging star” in national politics, along with better-known figures such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The Post’s Reid Wilson calls Berger “the undisputed driving force behind policies on election law, tax cuts and social issues the legislature passed” in 2013.

• Several Washington campaign watchers tell Fox News that as Republicans gain in the polls, Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election campaign will be one of the three that will draw the most national attention this year.

• The Associated Press reports the unpopularity of Obamacare continues to plague U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District, even though he never has voted for the law and has voted to repeal it on numerous occasions.

• Meantime, New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, a Republican, says he will challenge McIntyre. Former state Sen. David Rouzer, R-Johnston, lost a close race to McIntyre in 2012 and has said he will run again.

• U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-11th District, says repealing Obamacare is not going to happen “with this president and … this Senate.” Meadows says reforming the law is the best conservatives should expect in the near term.

• State Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, has won the endorsement of the North Carolina Association of Educators as she seeks her party’s nomination for the 12th Congressional District.

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