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Easy, tough calls for General Assembly 

N.C. senate 15 (northern wake)

The old adage about sticking with the devil you know? That applies here. In the Republican primary, you can trust incumbent Jim Fulghum III; he's a medical doctor. The former chicken farmer (he said he does not currently raise chickens because of some "fairly dumb decisions on the part of the government") co-chairs legislative committees pushing for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He voted to repeal the Racial Justice Act, co-sponsored the new voter registration laws and opposed Medicaid expansion.

But Fulghum, believe it or not, has taken principled stands, and that's why we're endorsing him. Last year, when his fellow Republicans voted to drug test welfare recipients, and then voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of the law, Fulghum stood against it, saying it amounted to "kicking a man when he was down." For this he should be applauded.

His challenger, Apryl Major, is a tea party town hall mom and aerospace quality control engineer. Her Twitter feed proclaims she is a "true Conservative." She has been endorsed by the "Christian Party of NC", which seeks to proclaim "Jesus is Lord in the political arena." Major shares most of Fulghum's anti-Obamacare, religious gun-nut positions but accuses the incumbent of not going far enough to "stop big government"—this scares us. We're behind Fulghum.

The winner faces Democrat Tom Bradshaw in November.

N.C. House 49 (northwestern Wake)

In the Democratic primary, Derek Kiszely is a 24-year-old millennial running for office for the first time ("9/11 came and changed my life forever," he declares on his website, though he was not personally affected.)

He is progressive on LGBT issues, public education, abortion, the Moral Monday platform and environmental issues. A Millennial voice in the General Assembly is much needed. But inconsistencies keep us from endorsing Kiszely. He wrote pro-Sarah Palin editorials for the Elon University newspaper and was supportive of the tea party during town hall meetings on the Affordable Care Act.

He is wishy-washy on collective bargaining rights and said he doesn't "support union workers being forced to pay mandatory dues to their union bosses"—collecting dues is, of course, essential to the operation of a labor union.

Kim Hanchette has been the CEO of the Diabetes Bus Initiative for the last 14 years—a project that helps rural North Carolinians identify and treat the disease. She is aggressive and well-spoken on teacher pay, income inequality and the state's decision to withhold Medicaid from 500,000 low-income North Carolinians.

She has been endorsed by the five Wake County Dems in the General Assembly. Given the dire political situation, GA Dems need a united front—there's no room for an idiosyncratic young man with an independent streak. For this reason, Hanchette is our candidate of choice.

The winner faces Gary Pendleton in the fall.

N.C. House 54 (Chatham)

House District 54 Democratic Party leaders unanimously appointed Robert Reives II to fill Deb McManus' seat last yeaer, and we endorse him for the primary. Reives, a lawyer from Sanford, served as vice chair of the Lee County Democratic Party and is active with the Chamber of Commerce, Lee County Education Foundation and Lee County Bar Association.

Reives also received the endorsement of the Sierra Club.

He faces Barry Burns, a retired teacher and principal from Moncure. Burns says he is running for office "in an attempt to help save public education." While we agree with Burns' positions on social issues (marriage equality, abortion rights, immigration) we question his ability to be an effective legislator.

He has not held office nor has he explained how he will "reverse the attack on public education," "preserve our water quality and supply" and "change the leadership at DHHS." Burns seems to be in over his head.

Andy Wilkie, a Republican, is running unopposed in that party's primary.

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