Dispatches from the campaign trail, March 13, 2014

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• Good-government advocates are crying foul at nearly $20,000 in donations from registered lobbyists at the General Assembly to the campaign of 6th Congressional District candidate Phil Berger Jr., a Republican. The contributions to a congressional campaign are legal, but those same donors could not give to the legislative coffers of Berger’s father, the leader of the state Senate.

• The House member Berger and eight other Republicans hope to succeed, retiring GOP Rep. Howard Coble, says he will not endorse any candidate in the May primary. Should a July runoff be needed, however, Coble hasn’t said what he might do.

• In this Charlotte Observer profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris, the Baptist minister argues he can bridge any perceived gap between economic, cultural, and Tea Party conservatives.

• Meantime, the liberal publication Mother Jones highlights comments made by one of Harris’ rivals, Dr. Greg Brannon, who suggested recently that the policies advocated by Planned Parenthood and some other abortion rights groups could lead to infanticide. Brannon also took a swipe at believers in Darwinian evolution.

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