• Ad wars: The conservative groups Americans for Prosperity North Carolina (see video above) and Real Jobs NC are on the airwaves with advertisements praising the actions of conservative Republicans in Raleigh. Meantime, the American Petroleum Institute (see ad at right) is lauding the McCrory administration’s commitment to drill for natural gas, while the North Carolina Environmental Partnership (of “fracking crew” fame) is attacking the drilling plans. (The Real Jobs NC and NCEP ads are not on YouTube, so links from WRAL were all we could use.)

• AFPNC also released a letter “holding accountable” U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, for her vote supporting reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Ex-Im is seen by many conservatives as a symbol of corruption and corporate welfare, and Ellmers was the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation to back reauthorization. Ellmers expects a tough primary battle from Chatham County Republican Party Chairman Jim Duncan.

• GOP State Sen. Tamara Barringer of Wake County will have a Democratic challenger next year: Wake County school board member Susan Evans. In the announcement launching her campaign, Evans says she plans “to bring the practical, solutions-oriented approach that I’ve used as a school board member to state government decision-making.” Wake County residents may instead recall this incident from 2012, during a public hearing on student reassignment policy, in which Evans grabbed the microphone from Republican school board member Deborah Prickett and shut it off. (Check video at roughly the one-minute mark.)

• U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-11th District, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, was urging fellow Republicans to reject the budget deal brokered between outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama.