by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd, will have a second (and familiar) opponent in next year’s GOP primary: Investment adviser Frank Roche, who challenged Ellmers in 2014. Ellmers won the primary 59-41. Outgoing Chatham County GOP Chairman Jim Duncan announced last week he was running.
• Gov. Pat McCrory will need to wear his negotiating shoes as the legislative session heats up. First, he’ll try to persuade lawmakers that a religious freedom bill like the controversial one recently enacted in Indiana favored by conservatives isn’t necessary. Then, he’ll need to talk them into holding a statewide election in November to consider bonds for transportation and infrastructure.
• Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, will give the keynote address at the state Republican Party convention in early June. Walker rose to prominence after prevailing in a long and bitter dispute with Democrats and public employee unions over benefits to government workers and his support for right-to-work legislation.
• On today’s legislative calendar, at 11 a.m. the House Elections Committee is set to take up House Bill 547, a measure that would move the state’s 2016 presidential preference primary to March 8. Be sure to check with CarolinaJournal.com this afternoon for an update.
• Former U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District, has been out of Congress for more than a year and has announced no plans to run for other offices, but his campaign account still has lots of money. As of the end of the 1st quarter of 2015, he had more than $315,000 cash on hand. Federal campaign accounts have few spending restrictions, but McIntyre is taking his time depleting the fund.