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McIntyre one of two Democrats voting to defund Obamacare

North Carolina U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre was one of only two Democrats who joined House Republicans in voting to defund Obamacare on Friday.

Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah was the other.

Their votes allowed Republican leaders to declare it a bipartisan effort. OK….

Meanwhile, North Carolina Republicans Renee Ellmers, Robert Pittenger and Robert McHenry – despite earlier objections – went along with the GOP strategy to risk shutting down the federal government in a stalemate with the Senate.

McIntyre is once again in what will be an expensive and close battle against challenger David Rouzer, a former Republican state senator whom he defeated last time around.

Rouzer names campaign team

David Rouzer on Wednesday announced key members of his campaign for U.S. Congress.

Brock McCleary of Pennsylvania will be the campaign's general consultant. McCleary until last year held senior positions in the National Republican Congressional Committee. He has worked as communications director for U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry and has worked on other state and federal campaigns.

Bob Rosser, president of Impact Strategies in Raleigh, will be a senior adviser. Rosser is a longtime politico in North Carolina, dating back to Sen. Jesse Helms' campaigns. He has also worked for the state House and Senate Republican caucuses.

Nicole McClesky of Public Opinion Strategies will be the pollster. She has conducted focus groups for Republican campaigns, including Mitt Romney in 2012, and the Republican Governor's Association.

Brad Todd and Guy Harrison of the Virginia-based On Message Inc., will develop digital content for the campaign. Todd has consulted on the campaigns of Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, and members of congress. Harrison has been executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Sarah Hill Waters will be finance director and Jessica Wood communications director. Both worked on Rouzer's unsuccessful and highly expensive campaign in the 7th Congressional District last year.

McIntyre, Rouzer, Jones, Price, Holding, and Coble and fund raising

Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre has raised $354,448 during the first six months of the year, while his likely GOP opponent, David Rouzer has raised $145,182, according to campaign finance reports.

McIntyre, the 7th district congressman who survived a very close election last time had $383,067 on hand in his campaign kitty as of June 30th, while Rouzer, a former state senator, had $168,269 on hand.

Most of McIntyre's money($274,028) was raised from political action committees.

The Rouzer campaign noted that it out raised McIntyre in individual donations $112,819 to $78,520 during the second quarter.

Morning Memo: McCrory's approval rating sinks, questions remain in tax deal

ALERT: McCRORY'S APPROVAL RATING TUMBLES: For the first time in his term, more voters disapprove of Gov. Pat McCrory than support him, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey. The Democratic firm found 40 percent approve of the job McCrory is doing and 49 percent disapprove. It's a significant shift from a month ago when PPP put the Republican governor's approval rating at 45 percent with 39 percent disapproval. (Read more on Dome later this morning.)

REPUBLICANS RALLY TO THANK LAWMAKERS: Moral Monday protesters aren’t the only ones rallying on Halifax Mall this week. The N.C. Republican Party has asked conservatives to gather at 5 p.m. Tuesday for “Thankful Tuesday,” a meeting planned by a coalition of groups to thank legislators for their work. The event will also allow for networking between Republicans and supporters. It isn’t a counter-protest to Moral Mondays, the left-leaning demonstrations that have garnered national attention for the past 10 weeks, said Mike Rusher, the state GOP’s chief of staff. “We want to tell our state legislators that we’re basically proud of what they’re doing,” said Joe Taylor, a member of the Moccasin Creek Minutemen, a conservative group that is helping to host the event. “They catch a lot of grief on Monday.” Read more here.

***In the Dome Morning Memo below: three big questions for the tax deal, an unusual new name for House Speaker Thom Tillis and more North Carolina political news.***

Rouzer raising money at D.C. lobbying firm

UPDATED: Former state Sen. David Rouzer is hitting the donor circuit again in his second bid for Congress.

Rouzer traveled to Washington for a fundraiser Wednesday featuring Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and the GOP members of the N.C. congressional delegation, according to an invite.

The noon fundraiser is at the offices of lobbying firm Meyers & Associates. It costs hosts $2,500 to attend with the minimum contribution at $250. A Rouzer spokesman said the space is being rented from the lobbying firm by the campaign.

Rouzer is trying again to beat Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre. He narrowly lost in the 2012 election and announced a second bid just a few months later.

Rouzer enters 7th district House race again

Former State Sen. David Rouzer formally declared his candidacy Tuesday for Congress, seeking a rematch with Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre. Rouzer lost one of the closest races in the country to McIntyre last November, losing by 654 votes.

"I will fight to cut Washington's wasteful spending habits, work to get the government off of the backs of entrepreneurs and small business owners and get our national debt under control so that every individual has the opportunity to be prosperous and achieve the American dream," he said in a statement in Wilmington.

Bob Rosser and Brock McCleary will serve as general counsels for his campaign. Rosser is a veteran North Carolina consultant. McCleary was a senior strategist with the National Republican Congressional Committee during the past two election cycles.

Republicans launch early TV ad against Congressman Mike McIntyre

Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre already is facing fire from the Republican group that tried unsuccessfully to oust him in the 2012 election. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Wednesday it is airing a new TV ad criticizing the 7th District lawmaker for his recent budget vote.

The move comes days after the NRCC-backed candidate from 2012, former state Sen. David Rouzer, said he would challenge McIntyre in 2014. The Democrat was the only to win a targeted congressional race in North Carolina last year. See the ad script below.

Rouzer will make another run for Congress

Former state Sen. David Rouzer confirmed to the Insider Thursday that he is running for Congress in 2014 in the 7th Congressional District, the Insider's Patrick Gannon reports.

The Johnston County Republican said he would make an official announcement early next week. Rouzer won the district's GOP primary in 2012, but lost a close race in November to longtime U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-Lumberton, in a more conservative district after the recent redistricting process.

McIntyre won by 654 votes out of nearly 337,000 cast in the district, which includes all or parts of 12 Southeastern North Carolina counties. Rouzer represented Johnston and Wayne counties in the Senate from 2009-2012. McIntyre hasn't announced his candidacy for re-election, but there are indications that he will seek a 10th term.

Congressman McIntyre may face Democratic primary challenger

National Republicans are gleefully cheering the news that Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre is likely to face a primary challenger.

New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, the only Democrat on the board, announced his candidacy Tuesday. “It’s right politically, as well as for my family right now,” he told the Wilmington Star-News. “My middle daughter will be in college next year and I talked to my wife about it and we agreed that now is the time."

“I wanted to put the word out now and let people know who I am and what I’m about. I wanted to let people know what my intentions are,” Barfield continued. “It’s always good to be out there first.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee's spokeswoman Katie Prill sent an email asking: "So is this the bittersweet end for Mike McIntyre? Not only has the NRCC announced that McIntyre will be a top target for the 2014 election cycle, now he is facing a tough primary challenge."

Groups tally outside spending in North Carolina

Two public-interest organizations have analyzed outside election spending in North Carolina and 20 other states, and on Thursday released a report on their findings. The report is meant to draw attention to what it sees as a big problem: too much money is being spent by outside and secretive interests on federal campaigns.

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