1972: Jesse Helms, once a Democrat, is elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican.
1974: Robert Morgan is elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat.
1976: I. Beverly Lake, Jr. is elected to the state Senate as a Republican.
1980: Helms' political machine, the National Congressional Club, engineers Morgan's defeat by unknown Republican John East.
1993: Eric Reeves, Morgan's son-in-law, and Paul Coble, Helms' nephew, win Raleigh City Council seats.
1996: Reeves is elected to the state Senate.
1998: Robert Morgan, now retired after serving as head of the State Bureau of Investigation, becomes a leader in the campaign finance reform movement.
1999: Coble is elected Raleigh mayor.
2000: I. Beverly Lake Jr. is elected chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.
2001: Coble is beaten for re-election by Charles Meeker, with Reeves' help.
2002: N.C. Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr.'s majority opinion for the state Supreme Court throws out the Democratic party's legislative districts.
2002: In the redrawing, Reeves loses 70 percent of his old constituents and winds running in a swing district. His opponent: Paul Coble.