Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 29, 2014

• If you want to vote before May 6, you can find a place to do so here.

• In a new ad in his campaign for the U.S. Senate, House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, touts his credentials as a social conservative. Rival Mark Harris cries foul.

• U.S. News looks at how a July 15 U.S. Senate primary might affect the Republicans who continue beyond May 6 and the eventual winner’s prospects against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

• State Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, who’s running for the 12th Congressional District nomination, is fined $5,000 for accepting prohibited contributions to his congressional campaign. He paid the fine to the State Board of Elections from his federal account, which could be another violation.

• Retiring Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District, is in a top 10 list: Departing members of Congress with the most campaign money in the bank. The Lumberton Democrat has nearly half a million dollars on hand, and could use that money to support the campaigns of other federal candidates, donate the money to the Democratic Party, or hold onto it in case he would like to return to Congress or seek political office in North Carolina.

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