Off to the races

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The 2014 candidate slate is set.

No big surprises.

Democrat Kay Hagan of Greensboro has filed for reelection to the US Senate. A GOP wolf-pack will be scrapping in the Republican primary for the chance to challenge her in November, including NC Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, Charlotte pastor Mark Harris, Cary obstetrician Greg Brannon. The final list also includes, Ted Alexander of Shelby, Heather Grant of Wilkesboro, Edward Kryn of Clayton, Alex Bradshaw of Icard and Jim Snyder of Lexington.

The field is similarly fierce in the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by US Rep. Howard Coble. Notable entries include Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny, Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., Guilford County Commissioner Jeff Phillips, Greensboro businessman Mike Causey, Greensboro pastor Mark Walker and High Point party activist Don Webb. Candidates with less name recognition include Kenn Kopf of Jamestown, Bruce VonCannon of Greensboro and Charlie Sutherland of Mayodan.

The district leans Republican, but of the 10 districts currently held by the GOP it holds the most promise for Democrats based on voter registration and voting behavior. As expected, the two Democrats who have filed for the seat are Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis and Laura Fjeld, former general counsel for the UNC System.

The contest to replace US Rep. Mel Watt, who has been drafted to service in the Obama administration, is shaping up as Democratic street fight, with state Reps. Alma Adams and Marcus Brandon, both of Greensboro, and Rajive Patel of Winston-Salem, along with Charlotteans Sen. Malcolm Graham, George Battle, Smuggie Mitchell and Curtis Osborne contending.

US Rep. Virginia Foxx has a Republican primary challenger in Philip Doyle of Clemmons.

Four Democrats have filed against Foxx, a popular arch-conservative lawmaker, including Gardenia Henley of Winston-Salem, Will Stinson of Boonville, Michael Holleman of Wilkesboro and Josh Brannon of Vilas.

State Sen. Joyce Krawiec, who was appointed to replace Pete Brunstetter in state Senate District 31, faces two Republican primary challengers: Steve Wiles of Belews Creek and Dempsey Brewer of East Bend.

Democrat John K. Motsinger Sr., the husband of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board member Elisabeth Motsinger, is also running in the heavily Republican leaning district.

Democrat Earline Parmon of Winston-Salem is running unopposed in state Senate District 32.

Republican Trudy Wade is running unopposed for state Senate District 27, but Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger faces a nominal challenge from Democrat William Osborne in District 26.

Former Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston is challenging Gladys Robinson in the Democratic primary for state Senate District 28.

Rep. Evelyn Terry faces no Democratic challenger in state House District 71, but will face a rematch with Republican Kris McCann in November. And Democrat Ed Hanes Jr. is running unopposed in state House District 72.

Democrat Mary Dickinson is challenging Republican Debra Conrad in state House District 74. Republican Donny Lambeth faces a Democratic challenge from David Gordon in District 75. And in District 79, GOP power-player Rep. Julia Howard should have no problem fending off Democrat Cristina Vasquez, a former teacher who barely made a dent in her last effort two years ago.

Former Greensboro City Councilman Jim Kee is challenging Pricey Harrison in the Democratic primary for state House District District 57.

Alma Adams congressional bid leaves state House District 58 in Greensboro open. The most well known name on the list of Democratic candidates seeking to replace her is Ralph C. Johnson, who ran for the seat four years ago. Tigress McDaniel, Dan Koenig and Kerry Graves are also on the ballot.

Democrat Scott Jones is challenging Republican Jon Hardister in state House District 59. Jones previously ran against popular Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes as a Republican. The entry of Libertarian Paul Meinhart should likewise cause Hardister no worries.

With Marcus Brandon also in the race for the 12th Congressional District, Earl Jones is seeking to reclaim his old seat in state House District 60. Fellow Democrat Cecil Brockman is also on the ballot.

Democrat Ron Weatherford is seeking a rematch against Republican John Faircloth in state House District 61, and Democratic perennial candidate Sal Leone is on a quixotic quest to unseat Republican John Blust in District 62.