TODAY IS JUDGMENT DAY FOR DEMOCRAT ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Hall is battling accusations of sexual harassment, most of them anonymous. He has denied all, and ignored calls to resign from top Democrats, including Gov. Roy Cooper. Hall has mostly avoided reporters for the last two months, but in a late campaign mailer said "recent stories" about him are false. Still, someone is plastering Hall's campaign signs with puckered lip stickers. Dahle, a first-time candidate running against Hall, raised about $40,000. She's received support from state and national groups that support Democratic women. Lillian's List, the North Carolina group, contributed $5,000. Emily's List has a staff member who lives in North Carolina helping Dahle with her campaign, President Stephanie Schriock said last week in a call with reporters.
ONCE AGAIN, MARK HARRIS IS DOGGING ROBERT PITTENGER'S FOOTSTEPS IN GOP PRIMARY: Ninth District Congressman Robert Pittenger squeaked by Rev. Mark Harris by 134 votes in the Republican primary two years ago, and the two men are battling again – along with a third candidate – for the party's nomination in next Tuesday's primary. The race this year appears to be equally close, as both Pittenger and Harris attended Thursday night's annual fish fry on the shore of White Lake, east of Elizabethtown, in an effort to get every last vote. The district, which used to be concentrated around Charlotte, went from being among the state's wealthiest to being one of its most economically distressed when state lawmakers redrew congressional district lines in 2016 to eliminate two racially gerrymandered districts.
EDUCATION SPENDING AT THE ROOT OF BRUISING WAKE COMMISSIONERS' PRIMARY: At the heart of the primary is funding for the Wake County Public School System. The incumbents tout their record of providing more than $100 million in additional funding for the school system since fiscal year 2013-2014, while challengers say that's an improvement but that it hasn't been enough. Commissioners voted last year to increase school funding by $21 million over the previous year, but the amount fell short of the school system's request of $45.2 million in additional revenue. The commissioners who voted in favor of the budget are the same ones facing a Democratic primary. Burns, Calabria, Hutchinson and Portman all voted to move forward with the purchase of about 140 acres for a park in the southern part of the county outside of Fuquay-Varina last fall. In addition to public education, opponents of the park say the money would be better spent on affordable housing or mental health services, while proponents say the park is needed in a growing part of the county.
GOP WORRIED ABOUT WV COAL BARON'S PRIMARY CAMPAIGN TO FACE JOE MANCHIN: Voters in the heart of Trump country are ready to decide the fate of Don Blankenship, a brash West Virginia businessman and GOP outsider with a checkered past who is testing the appeal of President Donald Trump's outsider playbook in one of the nation's premiere U.S. Senate contests. The stakes are high for a Republican Party bracing for major losses in this fall's midterm elections. A victory on Tuesday for Blankenship, an ex-convict who has run racially charged ads, could make it hard for Republicans to pick up a Senate seat in deep-red West Virginia come November. But the anti-establishment fervor unleashed by Trump's 2016 campaign has proved difficult for GOP leaders to rein in. On the eve of state's Senate primary election, Trump himself warned on Twitter that a Blankenship win would destroy Republicans' chance of defeating Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin this fall.
CITIZENS PROTEST OVER POSSIBLE REINSTATEMENT OF 287(G) PROGRAM IN ALAMANCE COUNTY: About 55 people held a rally outside the Historic Courthouse early Monday, May, 7 to protest the possibility of the Sheriff’s Office rejoining the federal 287(g) program, and then took their case to the county commissioners’ meeting. “I think opposing the 287(g) program is the right thing to do,” said County Commissioner Bob Byrd, who had been asked to join the 7:30 a.m. protest. After a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 alleging racial profiling by the sheriff’s office, the county’s involvement in the federal program was terminated under the administration of President Barack Obama. A judge later ruled in Johnson’s favor, but only after years in court and, by most estimates, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent. Johnson told the Times-News the Trump administration had invited his office to reapply to the program last year, though he has yet to say whether he thinks it would be worth the backlash.