Official Portrait

• Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, will make a stop in the Triangle Saturday. He’ll appear at a 4:30 p.m. rally at the State Fairgrounds before attending a private fundraiser at the home of developer John Kane.

• Looks like a showdown is brewing along the Interstate 77 corridor, as Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett, a Republican, has asked his colleagues on the commission to take a formal stand Tuesday against the state’s tolling project on the stretch of interstate north of Charlotte. Gov. Pat McCrory, who backs the tolling project, has said the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization must reaffirm its support for the plan at its Jan. 20 meeting or come up with a new regional transportation project from scratch. Read Carolina Journal’s coverage of the controversy here.

• The unconventional campaign of Kay Daly, one of three Republican primary challengers to Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, continues, as Daly sends a fundraising letter calling Ellmers a “weasel” and a “coward,” among other things. An Ellmers’ campaign adviser counters, “almost nothing Kay Daly says is true.”

• WECT News in Wilmington offers profiles of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and the Republicans and Democrats seeking to oust the two-term Republican.