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Libertarian candidate asks voters to make a statement in the governor's race

Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe is airing a new TV ad that asks voters to "make a statement" and reject the two major parties in the governor's race.

The 30-second spot features three people who express frustration with the two major political parties before cutting to the candidate. "Libertarians takes the best the other two parties have to offer," Howe says.

Campaign finance reports come due, Dalton donor says its tough going

The fundraising quarter ended at midnight Sunday for North Carolina candidates. It's a "third-quarter-plus," given that it extended 20 days longer than the federal third quarter period. The candidates must report their Q3 campaign finance activity by Oct. 29 but some totals will begin to leak this week.

As a preview, take a look at this Jacksonville Daily News story about Democrat Walter Dalton's poor fundraising down East, an area where Perdue ran strong against Republican Pat McCrory in the 2008 money race.

In particular the split in the Sewell family is intriguing. Louis Sewell bundled money for Perdue. But this year for Dalton, it's tough going. “I like him, but he got in late and people have some dissatisfaction with previous administrations,” Sewell said.

Greenville paper endorses moderate McCrory, not tea party McCrory

Pat McCrory won another endorsement from a newspaper editorial board. Greenville's "Daily Reflector" editorial board notes the two faces of McCrory -- moderate mayor and tea party cuddler -- writing that it picked McCrory hoping he would be the former, not the latter.

In rejecting Democrat Walter Dalton, the editorial board wrote "the stain of scandal left by previous Democratic administrations has North Carolina ready for a change. McCrory has the potential to usher in a new era, depending on how he chooses to lead."

McCrory notes on the campaign trail that most newspapers endorsed his 2008 bid -- but he still lost to Democrat Gov. Bev Perdue.

Morning Roundup: Young voters may swing election, early voting starts in N.C.

A wave of excited young voters helped lift President Barack Obama to a narrow victory in the state four years ago, but flagging support is now putting a repeat win in jeopardy. If Obama does end up losing North Carolina this election, it could be because of voters like Jennifer Bachelor.

An Elon University graduate, Bachelor cast her first vote for president for Obama, but she has agreed with his positions less and less as his term wore on. Her assessment of the president’s performance is so negative that the Raleigh resident watched the vice-presidential debate last week with other staunch backers of the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket at a GOP-sponsored party. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Early voting starts today in North Carolina -- meaning everyday through Nov. 3 is election day. Find Triangle area voting sites here.

--Walter Dalton leveled a new ethics charge at GOP rival Pat McCrory in the debate. Read a fact-check here.

RGA ad attacks Walter Dalton for third time on sales tax proposal

The Republican Governors Association is airing a TV ad in North Carolina that attacks Walter Dalton for his one-time support for a sales tax hike -- the third such commercial from the group on the issue.

The 30-second spot starts with a clip of the Democratic candidate for governor criticizing Pat McCrory's tax plan, saying it could lead to higher sales taxes. And then hits Dalton for previously supporting a three-quarter of a penny sales tax for schools pitched by Gov. Bev Perdue earlier this year.

Morning Roundup: Congressman Kissell refuses to debate GOP rival Hudson

Citing scheduling conflicts, U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., has declined to commit to a locally televised debate with Republican challenger Richard Hudson.

Hudson, in a statement released by his campaign, called on the Democratic congressman “to come out of hiding.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Get a rundown on the feisty second presidential debate and see a fact check on the candidates' statements. Students at Queens College gave the win to the president.

--Emulating President Barack Obama, Walter Dalton also took an aggressive stance while Pat McCrory bobbed and weaved in the governor's race debate. And see an excerpt from a key exchange.

In debate, Walter Dalton hits McCrory with new ethics charge

In one of their most heated exchanges at the second statewide TV debate, Walter Dalton brought up a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court case, which raised the question of whether Pat McCrory, as Charlotte mayor pro tem, had acted inappropriately when the Charlotte City Council voted to condemn some farmland on behalf of Duke Energy, McCrory’s employer at the time. 

Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr., a Republican, raised questions about McCrory’s actions in a dissenting opinion in the case.

“He was looking after that special interest,” Dalton said. “He was certainly not looking after the farmer. I think that says it all. I am going to work for the working people and the senior citizens and the middle class.”

Dalton proposes 4 weeks of paid maternity leave for state workers

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton Tuesday said he will push for paid family leave for teachers and state employees if he is elected. His proposal would allow new parents paid maternity and paternity leave for up to four weeks without losing their state jobs. Currently, the state offers no paid leave for new parents.

“So many of North Carolina's teachers and state workers are part of working families and they deserve a fair deal,” Dalton, the state's lieutenant governor said in a statement.

Pat McCrory on open records

GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory said he was inclined to support legislation to open government personnel files if it involved in illegality or corruption or misuse of a job when a person is is terminated, suspended, transferred or demoted. But he was not in favor of opening up files if it it just involved job performance.

McCrory also said he favor changing the law so the public could determine whether an employer carried worker compensation insurance. “It has caused a lot of concern among employers where some employers are paying workers comp and some are not,” McCrory said in a meeting with The News and Observer editorial board. “It is not fair for businesses who are doing it the right way."

Pat McCrory maintains 10-point lead on Walter Dalton in governor's race

Pat McCrory's firm grasp on the North Carolina governor's race continues as a new poll shows him 10 points ahead of rival Walter Dalton.

McCrory received 47 percent to Dalton's 37 percent in a survey of likely voters released Monday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. The results are identical to a PPP survey from Sept. 30 and indicate the first statewide TV debate and a month's worth of TV commercials did nothing to boost Dalton, the Democratic lieutenant governor.

Libertarian Barbara Howe received 5 percent and 11 percent remain undecided, the poll showed. The PPP numbers are the seventh poll since mid-September to give McCrory, a double-digit lead. Other reliable polls put the Republican ahead as much as 13 points.

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