by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• It looks as if the Rev. Mark Harris may be shut out of a televised debate featuring three other Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. WRAL-TV is hosting a debate April 23 featuring House Speaker Thom Tillis, Cary physician Greg Brannon, and Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant, but excluding Harris. WRAL’s news director said to qualify for the debate, candidates had to reach 10-percent support in its poll. The previous night, all four candidates will partcipate in a debate hosted by Time Warner Cable News and McClatchy Newspapers; candidates had to average 7 percent support in three independent polls to get an invitation to the first debate.
• Meantime, voters can meet Harris Tuesday in Winston-Salem.
• Reminder: The John Locke Foundation will sponsor a luncheon Wednesday in Raleigh previewing the U.S. House and Senate races with Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, Democratic consultant Brad Crone, and Republican consultant Mark Rotterman. Details here.
• At an Asheville appearance Friday, Hagan says she continues to support the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
• Meantime, Hagan and other vulnerable Democrats facing re-election will get lots of floor time and face time in the Senate to raise their profiles in the coming months.
• At a campaign stop in Fayetteville, 2nd District Congressional candidate Keith Crisco, a Democrat, says the nation’s problems need centrist solutions.