The Republican and Democratic parties are paying particular attention this year to one down ballot race: N.C. Supreme Court. Although judicial elections are officially nonpartisan, there are strong partisan stakes in the outcome of this race. In the balance is the current 4-3 split on the state Supreme Court that currently tips conservative. Incumbent Paul Newby is a registered Republican and challenger Sam "Jimmy" Ervin IV, an appeals court judge, is a Democrat.
The importance of the race is why outside interests have started raising money for their candidate – in this case, Newby – to bolster the limited funds candidates can raise. Both candidates received $240,100 in public financing; Newby has raised about $94,000 from individuals and Ervin about $85,000, in the first half of this year. Read more about the race here.
More political headlines:
--After a week of moves to the middle on taxes, health care and abortion, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned to the South on Thursday to reassure conservatives and evangelical Christians that he’s a would-be president they can trust. Romney began his Tar Heel trip – his fifth visit to the state this year – by making a pilgrimage to Montreat to meet and pray with 93-year-old evangelist Billy Graham.