Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 17, 2014

• We’re taking a break Good Friday and will be back in this space Monday. Happy Easter, everyone.

• National Democrats are pulling out all the stops to have someone other than House Speaker Thom Tillis face incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan this fall, according to National Journal. The Washington-based publication looks at a major ad buy from the Democrat-run Senate Majority PAC recounting the early days of Tillis’ speakership. Two aides were fired for having affairs with lobbyists and the Mecklenburg County Republican provided severance pay from taxpayers. National Journal notes that the timing of the ads — launched before the May 6 U.S. Senate primary rather than the fall general election campaign — seems designed to push Republican voters toward candidates Democrats see as more vulnerable than Tillis.

• The National Rifle Association’s PAC endorses Tillis in the GOP primary. The Washington Post takes note of Hagan’s successful fundraising efforts, saying the $2.8 million she collected in the first three months of 2014 is more than double Tillis’ total.

• State Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, is opening a fundraising lead in the contest for the Democratic nomination in the 12th Congressional District. Adams had raised slightly more than $350,000 as of March 31. In second place is Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, who raised $249,000 — the vast majority from out-of-state donors. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools attorney George Battle has collected $227,000, trial lawyer Curtis Osborne reported $193,000, and state Sen. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg, got $167,000. With $115,000 in the bank, Adams easily has the most cash on hand.

• A poll of 7th Congressional District voters by The Wickers Group shows state Sen. David Rouzer with a small lead over New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White for the Republican nomination, with 29 percent to 26 percent lead. Fellow GOPer Chris Andrade was not included in the poll.

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