by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• The first episode of “The Runner-Up,” Esquire Network’s four-part series about Democrat Clay Aiken’s unsuccessful bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, aired Tuesday. If you don’t get Esquire on your cable or satellite package, the network is airing some excerpts, such as the one above. No word on whether or how soon the series will be available for non-Esquire subscribers to stream it. The News & Observer’s Brook Cain previewed the initial episode and found salty language and plenty of unfortunate references to Aiken’s primary opponent, the late Keith Crisco. Meantime, Aiken tells TIME that he does not rule out another run for office.
• Speaking of Ellmers, once again she will face a GOP primary opponent. Outgoing Chatham County Republican Party chairman Jim Duncan announced his candidacy earlier this week, planning to challenge Ellmers from the right. Ellmers defeated investment advisor Frank Roche in the 2014 cycle.
• Also, the American Action Network, a political advocacy group started by House Speaker John Boehner, is running radio ads on behalf of Ellmers and 75 other House members who are aligned with the speaker. It’s the second ad buy from AAN praising Ellmers.
• Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District, will have a primary challenge as well. Forsyth County Republican activist Pattie Curran says she will file for the race, planning to run as an outsider.
• National Journal says U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s 2016 re-election campaign will highlight a politician who won’t be on the ballot: President Obama. Burr plans to focus on national security issues, drawing a contrast between Obama’s (and presumably the Democratic Party’s) foreign policy stances and the more aggressive positions the two-term senator and most Republicans support.
• The Greensboro News & Record‘s Doug Clark takes note of RoyCooperforGovernor.com, a parody website launched by the state Republican Party on April Fool’s Day that takes plenty of shots at the attorney general, who’s likely to challenge Gov. Pat McCrory in next year’s race.