Dispatches from the campaign trail, February 10, 2014

• U.S. Sen Kay Hagan, who has decried independent expenditures against her re-election efforts, will benefit from a $500,000 ad buy from the liberal group Patriot Majority USA. Last year, the Senate Majority PAC also purchased ads supporting her campaign in an ad indirectly touting Hagan’s support for Obamacare.

• Hagan is one of several Democrats up for re-election who’ve been silent, for the most part, about the health care law.

• Triad area talk-show host Bill Flynn, who considered a run for the GOP Senate nomination, endorsed the Rev. Mark Harris in the primary race. Harris recently won the endorsement of former GOP presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

• GOP Senate candidate Dr. Greg Brannon and 12th Congressional District hopeful Vince Coakley will meet voters Saturday in Salisbury.

• A poll sponsored by the Karl Rove group American Crossroads finds the Senate race a dead heat between Hagan and House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and gives Hagan a slight lead over Harris. Brannon and other candidates weren’t listed.

• State Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin, who’s seeking the seat of retiring Chief Justice Sarah Parker, has outlined a host of proposals for improving the operations of the state courts.

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