Republicans have high hopes in nine state Senate races.
Jim Blaine, director of the N.C. Senate Republican Committee, gave Dome a breakdown of the races he thinks the GOP will do well in, based on the filings so far.
Fifth: Rep. Louis Pate Jr., a Republican, faces the winner of a five-way Democratic primary for the open seat of retiring Democratic Sen. John Kerr.
Eighth: Former Wilmington Star-News reporter Bettie Fennell, a Republican, faces Democratic Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. in a district that is changing demographically.
Ninth: Wilmington attorney Michael Lee, a Republican, has filed to run against Democratic Sen. Julia Boseman, who has not yet filed for re-election.
24th: Commercial real estate broker Rick Gunn Jr., a Republican, squares off against Democratic Sen. Tony Foriest.
43rd: Realtor Kathy Harrington, wife of former Rep. Michael Harrington, faces Democratic Sen. David Hoyle in a district that leans Republican.
45th: Boone dentist Jerry Butler has signed up to face Democratic Sen. Steve Goss. Other Republicans may file in this race as well.
46th: State Rep. Debbie Clary, a Republican, faces either Phil Clark or Keith Melton for the seat of Democratic Sen. Walter Dalton, who is running for lieutenant governor.
47th: Former state Sen. Keith Presnell, a Republican, faces Democratic Sen. Joe Sam Queen in a seemingly never-ending grudge match.
50th: Republican Susan C. Pons, who works at a Christian training center, faces Democratic Sen. John Snow.