by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• Endorsement time! State Treasurer Janet Cowell, a Democrat who’s chosen not to seek a third term, is backing former Wake County Democratic Party head Dan Blue III in her party’s primary. Blue also has the support of the North Carolina Association of Educators and the Service Employees International Union. Democratic rival Ron Elmer has the backing of the State Employees Association of North Carolina. The primary winner will face Republican Dale Folwell, a former state representative and state employment office official.
• There will be a Democratic U.S. Senate debate after all. The four contenders to (most likely) take on two-term GOP incumbent Richard Burr —Kevin Griffin, Ernest Reeves, Chris Rey, and Deborah Ross — will meet the evening of Feb. 25 at the WRAL studios in Raleigh.
• Rep. David Rouzer, R-7th District, is citing uncertainty over the outcome of the legal challenge to the state’s congressional maps as reason not to participate in a primary debate on WWAY television in Wilmington. Rouzer faces Phil Otto in the GOP primary.
• A McClatchy Newspapers profile of the 3rd District Republican contest concludes that 10-term incumbent Rep. Walter Jones Jr. may face his toughest race yet. He’s opposed by Taylor Griffin (who ran against Jones in 2014, losing 51-45) and Hewlett-Packard executive Phil Law.
• The Lincoln Times profiles Dr. Albert Wiley Jr., a 79-year-old physician who’s trying to unseat Rep. Patrick McHenry in the 10th Congressional District GOP primary. Of interest — Wiley was endorsed in a 1982 Wisconsin congressional race by President Ronald Reagan.