The Democratic departures that continued Thursday with former House Speaker Joe Hackney are not coordinated --but lawmakers say the moves signal deep frustrations with the new GOP legislative leadership and a desire to avoid bruising re-election battles in unfavorable districts newly drawn by Republicans. Read more here.
The Democratic governor's race continues to evolve as Erskine Bowles said Thursday that he would not run for governor, but others moved to fill the void with former Congressman Bob Etheridge announcing his bid. Read more here.
Education's role as a prominent issue in the 2012 elections continues to increase. State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison is asking his members to champion public education in a political environment where lawmakers are increasingly open to alternatives. Read more here.
Speakers from the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying arm for the oil and gas industry, said Thursday that the energy industry's self-policing standards should serve as a model for how North Carolina can regulate natural gas exploration and "fracking." Read more here.
And a high-ranking law enforcement officer in the state Division of Motor Vehicles says his superiors planted a hidden tracking device in his state-issued car in hopes of finding something to use against him in a long-running personnel dispute. Read more here.