Dispatches from the campaign trail, February 25, 2014

school choice 2

• Friday’s court decision halting Opportunity Scholarships, aka school vouchers, has divided the Democratic candidates seeking the nomination in the 12th Congressional District. State Rep. Marcus Brandon of Guilford County voted for the voucher bill and is a vocal supporter of school-choice measures. His Guilford County colleague Rep. Alma Adams received the endorsement of the N.C. Association of Educators, which filed one of the lawsuits seeking to strike down the voucher law. A third contender, Sen. Malcolm Graham of Mecklenburg County, has appeared open to supporting vouchers in the past but says he can’t endorse them. Meantime, Adams has taken offense at something Brandon said on the trail.

• It’s official, and no surprise: Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has filed for a second term in office.

• The latest High Point University poll of N.C. adults shows their opinions of politicians souring slightly more. Of note, Hagan’s disapproval rating since January has risen by 4 points to 47 percent (with 36 percent approving); Gov. Pat McCrory’s disapproval rating is up 9 points, to 49 percent, also with 36 percent approving. The poll’s margin of error is 4.9 percentage points, so the swings may be what’s known as statistical noise.

• Five-term state Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, chose not to run for re-election after filing for his seat. He has withdrawn his candidacy and opted to endorse first-term Wake County Republican Rep. Jim Fulghum, who dropped out of the House race and filed for Hunt’s district.

• Republican Philip Doyle, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx for the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District, came out swinging, accusing Foxx in a statement of “treachery” for “betrayal” of the men and women serving in the military. He provided no specifics.

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