Dispatches from the trail, December 17, 2015


• It looks as if U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, may have three high-profile primary challengers. Former Chatham County GOP chairman Jim Duncan already has filed for the seat; financial planner Frank Roche, who faced Ellmers in the 2014 GOP primary, has said he wants a rematch; and now Raeford businessman Tim D’Annunzio, who has made unsuccessful runs for the 4th and 8th congressional districts as a Republican and for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian, announced on his Facebook page that he will challenge Ellmers as well.

• Thirteen-term state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, will not seek a 14th term, even though he initially filed for re-election. After the News & Observer questioned Hartsell’s campaign spending, the State Board of Elections launched an extensive probe and in June referred the case to prosecutors.

• There’s a third Republican running against state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson: Harnett County teacher Wesley Sills, whose campaign announcement, as Under the Dome reports, promises a “spirituous” campaign. Who’s buying?

• Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey, a Democrat seeking the nomination to (most likely) face incumbent GOP U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, released a list of 100 current and former elected officials endorsing his campaign.

• Libertarians will be active in the upcoming election cycle, as well. Sean Haugh, who gained national attention for his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign on YouTube (featuring beer) is running again for Senate, along with Lon Cecil and Brett Summerell, who are seeking the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. A group of Libertarians also filed for state legislative seats in Wake County.

Rick Henderson / Editor-in-chief, Carolina Journal

Rick Henderson became editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal in August 2016 after being managing editor of Carolina Journal since April 2009. Before that, he had worked more than...

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