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Asheville Tea Party PAC auctions AR-15 rifle, handgun

The Asheville Tea Party, on the heels of its “Machine Gun Social” in September, is raffling off an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

“The patriotic Americans who brought you the ‘Machine Gun Social’ are pleased to announce the introduction to their brand new fund raiser – the ‘Great Gun Giveway.’

Morning Roundup: Inside the campaign vote operations, McCrory haunted by curse

In politics, this is known as the ground game. It is the most old-fashioned part of politics – identifying your supporters and making sure they get to the polls.

It was Obama’s superior ground game that enabled the Illinois senator to squeak by Republican Sen. John McCain in North Carolina by 14,000 votes in 2008. And if the president is going to have a chance to carry the state again next Tuesday against Romney he will have to depend heavily on the get-out-the vote effort. Take a look inside the Democrat and Republican operations.

More political headlines:

--Can Pat McCrory break Charlotte's 92-year curse?

--The heated contest for state school superintendent had another log thrown on the fire with an email from Republican John Tedesco to his supporters that includes claims against incumbent Democrat June Atkinson that she said are false.

Morning Roundup: Distinct partisan choice in state superintendent's race

North Carolina voters will decide whether the state superintendent of public instruction for the next four years should be an educator.

Democratic incumbent June Atkinson, 64, argues that her education degrees, her career as a teacher and state school administrator, and her two terms as state schools superintendent make her the right choice for the job. But her Republican challenger, Wake County school board member John Tedesco, 37, argues that what’s needed is a superintendent who represents taxpayers and families, and not someone who’s worked in the “Raleigh education establishment since 1976.” Read a full profile of the race here.

More political headlines below.

Atkinson, Marshall, Goodwin and Berry up in poll

In the race for Council of State seats, incumbents are showing substantial leads, according to a new poll.

Democratic incumbent June Atkinston was leading Republican John Tedesco by a 44-34 percent margin, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm based in Raleigh.

All GOP school board members skip meeting

All four Republicans on the nine-member Wake County school board were absent from Saturday’s first meeting of the panel following the Democratic majority’s vote to fire former superintendent Tony Tata, The N&O's Thomas Goldsmith and Josh Shaffer report.

John Tedesco defends questioned campaign donations

John Tedesco, the Republican nominee for state Schools Superintendent, is denying it was inappropriate for him to have taken campaign contributions from officers of a company that does business with the Wake County school system.

At last week's Wake school board meeting, Democratic activist Greg Flynn accused Tedesco, a Wake school board member since 2009, of a "breach of trust" for having taken the donations and voted for the contract with the company.

Council of State debates begin: Atkinson vs. Tedesco

State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and Wake School Board member John Tedesco met Monday in Concord for their first debate of the campaign season. 

The N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools invited the candidates to answer questions during a lunch break at its convention.  Former State School Board Chairman Howard Lee moderated. 

Atkinson, the incumbent Democrat, and Tedesco, a Republican, answered questions about vocational education, the federal government's role in education, and charter school funding. 

'Prom queen' remark haunts John Tedesco's superintendent bid

Nearly two years later, Wake County school board member John Tedesco is still facing fallout over having called fellow board member Debra Goldman a "prom queen" during a heated public exchange.

Richard Alexander's campaign has brought up the "prom queen" remark in its bid to defeat Tedesco in Tuesday's Republican Party runoff for state schools superintendent. The remark is an issue considering that Goldman is the GOP nominee for state auditor.

Morning Roundup: Statewide candidates take primary campaign into summer

WAXHAW--The pavement steamed in the summer heat as Dan Forest’s campaign bus rolled into this small town along the state’s southern border for a Fourth of July parade.

On the route, a man wearing a sweat-drenched baseball hat appeared confused. “I thought elections were in the fall. Anyone know who Dan Forest is? What does the lieutenant governor do?” Such is the life of a candidate in North Carolina’s runoff election. It’s lonely – and hot.

Read about the runoff election and see a breakdown on all the races here.

More political headlines: 

--Rob Christensen: When Andy Griffith helped rescue the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Easley in 2000, it was dubbed the “Mayberry Miracle.” Griffith, who died last week, was Tar Heel Democrats’ political ace in the hole, helping them remain competitive in the state while most of the South went Republican.

On this issue, the GOP candidates don't agree

The Republican candidates for state superintendent are clearly delineated on one major issue: whether the post should be elected or appointed. John Tedesco, a Wake County school board member, says elected. His rival, Richard Alexander, a special education teacher, says appointed.

Tedesco bashed Alexander in a YouTube video, saying he is promoting the "Perdue-Alexander agenda." (The Gov. Bev Perdue reference recalls her effort to give greater powers to the chairman of the State Board of Education, essentially nullifying the elected superintendent -- a cause she lost in the courts.)

But in hitting his rival, Tedesco also strikes Republican gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory -- who believes the superintendent should be an appointed position.

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