Dispatches from the campaign trail, Jan. 16, 2014

• Wilmington attorney Michael Lee announced Wednesday he will seek the Republican nomination to succeed retiring 9th District Sen. Thom Goolsby. Lee, who lost to Goolsby in the 2010 GOP primary, won Goolsby’s endorsement Saturday. Former GOP state Rep. Danny McComas considered entering the race but endorsed Lee instead. New Hanover County school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh will seek the Democratic nomination.

• The Associated Press highlights the retirement of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District, as an example of the growing ideological polarization between Democrats and Republicans at the congressional level.

• You don’t have to be on a North Carolina ballot to raise money in the Tar Heel State. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican who’s running for re-election in November, will hold a fundraiser Feb. 3 at the Raleigh home of lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa and her husband Bruce Tucker. Kostrzewa said she has clients who do business in both Carolinas.

• The gossipy D.C. website Buzzfeed can’t get enough of retiring 6th District Rep. Howard Coble. For the second time in a month, Buzzfeed has featured the 82-year-old Greensboro Republican — this time, calling him the “sexiest bachelor” in Congress. Coble is a Korean War veteran who won a hat contest against Richard Petty, so who are we to argue?

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