Roundup of election coverage

March 8, 2016

In Raleigh, Bill Clinton slams Republicans, Sanders
In Concord, Donald Trump taunts rivals, talks trade, torture
Rampant immaturity at Trump rally

North Carolina early voting: 165,000 ballots cast in first four days

Why Donald Trump has NC GOP leaders scared

March 7, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Some North Carolina Republican leaders say having Trump on the ballot in November's election could hurt the chances of other GOP candidates by tarnishing the party's image. The North Carolina gubernatorial race could be one of the closest in the country, and even a small impact could hurt McCrory's chances, according to Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report. Others say Trump could provide a boost to other Republicans.

Early voting is under way in NC

March 4, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Early voting began Thursday for all primary races except the U.S. House of Representatives, which was moved to June 7 after a judge ordered lawmakers to redraw district maps. For all other races, early voting will continue through March 12.

NC re-evaluates contract with toll-road builder

March 3, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A subsidiary of Cintra, the Spanish company that is building controversial toll lanes on Interstate 77 north of downtown Charlotte, has filed for bankruptcy after a toll project in Texas generated less-than-expected traffic. Nick Tennyson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation, will meet with Texas DOT representatives and plans to "review every option" to reassess the company's business model and contract.

New congressional maps challenged

March 2, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Challengers contend the new congressional district maps drawn last month are no better than the previous ones. In a 40-page filing, the same voters who convinced a three-judge panel that North Carolina's districts were racially gerrymandered are asking that the new maps be rejected as well.

No special session on transgender bathrooms

March 1, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory and Senate leader Phil Berger said they won't call a special session to discuss a Charlotte ordinance that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. House Speaker Tim Moore had suggested a special session, which would have cost the state $42,000 a day. The regular legislative session begins April 25.

Sales tax on services starts Tuesday

February 29, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Services including car repairs, clothing alterations and appliance installation will be taxed in North Carolina beginning March 1. About $84.8 million of the new revenue will be distributed among suburban and rural counties for schools, community colleges and economic-development projects. Republican legislators say the new sales taxes will be offset by income tax cuts, though Democrats say the change will hurt middle-class families.

Spellings starts work as UNC president Tuesday

February 29, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Margaret Spellings begins her new role as UNC System president on Tuesday, where she will face challenges including a sometimes dysfunctional Board of Governors, budget concerns, and skepticism from some faculty groups, students and gay-rights advocates.
Related: At UNC, a drift toward University of Inc.

House speaker mulls special session on Charlotte LGBT ordinance

February 26, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said he will consider holding a special legislative session to debate a provision in Charlotte's new nondiscrimination ordinance that would allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect April 1; the General Assembly's short session convenes April 25.

Western NC schools face declining enrollments

February 26, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Haywood County school board voted this week to close Central Elementary at the end of the school year, a casualty of declining enrollment that is becoming common in some rural western N.C. counties due to the loss of manufacturing jobs.