• We’ll have at least six names on the U.S. Senate ballot choices for the U.S. Senate this fall. You’re probably aware that Democrat Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tillis, and Libertarian Sean Haugh are running. But three candidates (so far) have qualified for write-in status: Barry Gurney of Carteret County; former state Rep. John Rhodes of Mecklenburg County (who was defeated by Tillis in the 2008 GOP legislative primary); and David Waddell of Union County, the former Indian Trail town councilman who attracted headlines earlier this year when he submitted his resignation from the council in Klingon. (Alert reader Paul Chesser points out that, even though the names of the write-in candidates will not appear on the ballot, votes for them will be counted.)

• A New York Times editorial page blog questions Tillis’ support for environmental regulations.

• Washington Post reporter Dan Balz notes that a number of political prognosticators say all signs point to Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate, but they may have to do so without winning North Carolina and Arkansas, two states with incumbents (Hagan and Mark Pryor, respectively) who appear to be running more strongly than other Democrats nationally.

• U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-10th District, who recently was named deputy majority whip in the House of Representatives, will make three public appearances today in Gaston County.