SENATE RACE TAKING SHAPE: A U.S. Senate race with national stakes is taking shape in North Carolina, with one Republican jumping in, one bowing out and a handful of others waiting in the wings. They’re aiming at Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, one of the GOP’s top targets in 2014. She’s one of seven Democratic senators in states carried last year by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Republicans call them the “Red State 7.” “If it’s not the Number One race, it’s top three for sure,” says Kevin McLaughlin, senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “North Carolina is very, very ripe for the picking.” This weekend several announced and would-be candidates are expected to attend the state GOP convention, which begins Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center.
MORAL MONDAYS CONTINUE: A larger-than-ever crowd is expected at the statehouse Monday evening for the latest in the wave of civil disobedience protests leading to arrests at the legislature. James Protzman, a Democratic activist who says he will run against Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016, announced he will be among those arrested. Are they working? Read Rob Christensen's column below the jump.
***It's the second week of June and adjournment is not in sight. Get a legislative roundup and more North Carolina political news below in the Dome Morning Memo.***