Dispatches from the campaign trail, March 6, 2014

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• Mark your calendars: The only primary debate likely to feature all eight GOP contenders for the U.S. Senate seat held by freshman Democrat Kay Hagan is scheduled for April 22. The debate is sponsored by the McClatchy newspapers and Time Warner cable and will be aired and streamed statewide

• Meantime, Republican Senate candidate Greg Brannon won another endorsement from a Tea Party favorite: Utah Sen. Mike Lee gave Brannon the nod in the GOP race. Brannon is in Washington to attend the annual Conservative Political Action Conference and to raise money; another of Brannon’s backers, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is expected to attend a fundraiser in D.C.

• 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Clay Aiken visits the editorial board of the Southern Pines Pilot newspaper and says his celebrity will be a plus in the campaign.

• 7th Congressional District Republican candidate David Rouzer is awarded the Honorary Guardian of Seniors Rights by the 60 Plus Association, a conservative advocacy group.

• A survey (PDF) the Democratic Public Policy Polling firm conducted for the League of Conservation Voters finds solid majorities of respondents have little good to say about Duke Energy’s response to the coal ash spill in the Dan River and will pay attention to the way legislative candidates and lawmakers deal with the utility between now and November.

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