Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 4 2014

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• The Libertarian Party of North Carolina holds its state convention this weekend in Durham. On Saturday’s agenda: A debate between Senate candidates Tim D’Annunzio and Sean Haugh, moderated by Carolina Journal‘s own Barry Smith.

• Speaking of debates, Time Warner Cable News announces the lineup for the only scheduled televised debate between GOP contenders for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. The April 22 event, to be aired statewide, will feature House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, the Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte, and nurse Heather Grant of Wilkesboro — who consistently have held the top four spots in campaign polls.

• Gov. Pat McCrory weighs in on the GOP Senate primary, telling The Washington Post Tillis is the candidate most likely to defeat Hagan.

• Comments opposing same-sex marriage made at a recent school forum by Phil Berger Jr., a Republican candidate for the 6th Congressional District, have riled potential patrons at a Greensboro pub. Marshall Free House owner Marty Kotis, who’s spent more than a year getting his pub ready for business, posted a Berger campaign sign in the parking lot, attracting pushback on the pub’s Facebook page.

• Say cheese! Politico publishes a photo slideshow of campaign appearances by Taylor Griffin, the Republican who’s challenging incumbent Rep. Walter Jones in the GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District.

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