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McCrory convenes new Council of State, declines to back Berger

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory convened an informal Council of State meeting hours after the current panel met Tuesday to decide the Dix land lease deal.

At the meeting of the incoming Council of State, the Dix vote from earlier in the morning didn't get discussed, said McCrory spokesman Chris Walker. It was more of a get-to-know-everyone meeting, he said, in which all pledged to work together.

Through the spokesman, McCrory declined to comment on the Dix deal and wouldn't publicly support Republican Senate leader Phil Berger's efforts to find a legal way to block the lease to the City of Raleigh.

Morning Roundup: Ahead of election, redistricting issues emerge

Confusion created by the newly drawn legislative and congressional maps caused some voters in the May primary to be assigned to the wrong districts and others given the wrong ballots, attorneys representing advocacy groups and registered Democrats say. Read full story here.

More political news:

--Republican legislators at a committee meeting Friday said the state could not afford to contribute to a planned $650 million toll bridge from mainland Currituck County to the northern Outer Banks.

--Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said Friday that, as governor, he would push to raise N.C. teacher salaries to the national average, better line up school offerings with job skills, and use the bully pulpit to try to get the Republican-controlled legislature to begin restoring many of its previous cuts in education funding.

N.C. politicos react to SCOTUS health care ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act expectedly elicited a good bit of reaction from North Carolina politicians. Click below reaction from across the spectrum.

JOBS Commission gets award for innovation

The N.C. Joining Our Businesses and Schools (JOBS) Commission, headed by Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, was awarded for its innovation.

The JOBS Commission has been a mainstay in Dalton's stump speech on his record as he seeks election as governor.

Southern Growth Policies Board, which describes itself as nonpartisan and setting the stage as a forum for conversation on regional economic growth, presented the 2012 Innovator Award in Chattanooga. Gov. Bev Perdue spoke to the group Monday.

Winston-Salem PAC that endorsed Dalton, Coleman under scrutiny

Winston-Salem authorities are investigating a local political consultant's ties to candidates and a political action committee. The state Board of Elections is also looking into Chris Church and the Forsyth Leadership Political Action Committee, according to local news reports.

The PAC has endorsed Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Linda Coleman. Dalton's campaign dodged questions from Yes! Weekly about their involvement with the group. Coleman's campaign told the Winston-Salem Journal it had no contact with the group before the endorsement.

Obama, Dalton, Coleman, marriage amendment leading

President Barack Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney in North Carolina, according to a new survey. If the election were held today, Obama would defeat Romney by a 47-43 percent margin, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WRAL.

Obama has a 12-1 lead among black voters, while Romney has 55 percent of the white vote. Obama leads among women, younger voters, Democrats, voters in the Triangle and in Eastern North Carolina.Romney wins among affluent voters, Republicans, unaffiliated voters and those living in the Charlotte area.

In the constitutional amendment regarding marriages, the poll found the amendment passing by a 57-37 percent margin.

In the Democratic primary for governor, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton was leading with 32 percent of the vote, followed by former Congressman Bob Etheridge with 23 percent, and state Rep. Bill Faison with 5 percent, with 30 percent undecided.

Morning Roundup: Renee Ellmers a star in D.C., but scorned by some at home

It was only a year-and-a-half ago that Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers was the long-shot candidate who rode into Washington on a wave of public discontent. The former nurse from Dunn’s message was that beltway politicians are out of touch with everyday Americans. Now, in her first re-election bid, five challengers want to kick her out of Washington. Three are Republicans. Read the full story here.

More politics: 

--A week before the May 8 primary, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton opens a big lead in the polls and money race. Get the state of the race here.

--The four Republicans competing for the secretary of state job -- Mike Beitler, A.J. Daoud, Kenn Gardner and Ed Goodwin -- want to stretch the agency’s bounds beyond handling corporate records and use it to serve as a business ambassador to lure more companies to North Carolina.

Walter Dalton continues surge, opens 10-point lead in Democratic governor's race

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton opened a double-digit lead against rival Bob Etheridge in the Democratic primary for governor, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey released Monday.

Dalton's 36 percent to Etheridge's 26 percent represents a huge surge in April. At the start of the month, Etheridge held a 10-point lead with many voters undecided. His advantage began to evaporate by mid-month as Dalton spent about $400,000 on a TV advertising campaign and appeared to win many of those uncommitted Democrats.

A week ago, polls showed Dalton and Etheridge in a dead heat (26 percent to 25 percent, respectively).

Etheridge dismisses Dalton's fundraising, poll numbers

UPDATED: Bob Etheridge is dismissing concerns about his fundraising and poll numbers as he falls behind in the money race and watches Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton surge to close his once solid lead.

Worried about the money? "We'd like to have more," he said. "We'll get through the primary OK. I think people know what I've done."

What about Dalton making the race a dead heat? "TV helps," he said. "If there's a void out there somebody is going to fill it. And we didn't have anything out."

Etheridge said Dalton had a week head start on TV advertising, but now he is matching Dalton "dollar for dollar" this week. He also questioned a Civitas poll that showed Dalton ahead by 5 points.

Bob Etheridge to report $310,000 in contributions, $110,000 in the bank

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge will report raising more than $310,000 in contributions since he entered the race Feb. 29.

The total is far less than desired, given that his main rival Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton entered 2012 with $600,000 in the bank. Dalton's head start came from his re-election bid, which was underway when Gov. Bev Perdue exited the race at the 11th hour. Dalton's campaign has yet to report its first quarter numbers. Reports are due Monday.

Etheridge is airing TV ads in five markets, draining his coffers. He will report about $110,000 in the bank as of April 21 with another $20,000 in donations coming in earlier this week, campaign finance reports show.

Both Democrats are likely to report far less than Republican Pat McCrory who is sitting on $3 million in the bank. But in 2008 McCrory had about $330,000 in the bank at this point amid his competitive primary.

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