North Carolina ready for constitutional ban on gay marriages, says poll
North Carolina will vote Tuesday on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions. One North Carolina poll shows only 38 percent oppose the ban.
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North Carolina voters also will consider candidates for gubernatorial and congressional races.
The state's 13-member congressional delegation currently includes seven Democrats and six Republicans, but Republicans see an opportunity to pick up seats with the retirement of two Democratic incumbents.
The race for Miller's 13th congressional district features a Republican primary contest between George Holding, a former U.S. attorney, and former Raleigh mayor Paul Coble. While a federal prosecutor, Holding's office built the criminal campaign finance case against former U.S. Senator John Edwards, a Democrat.
Coble has accused Holding of wasting taxpayer money to advance his political career, saying the prosecution of Edwards over donor money used to hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 presidential bid was political - a charge that Holding's campaign rejected in television ads.
Democratic Governor Bev Perdue's surprise decision in January not to seek a second term left Democrats scrambling to raise money and name recognition in the few months before Tuesday's primary.
The leading Democratic candidates are Walter Dalton, the state's lieutenant governor; Bob Etheridge, a former seven-term congressman and state superintendent of public instruction; and Bill Faison, a state representative.
A candidate will need 40 percent of the vote to claim the nomination without a runoff. The winner will face the presumptive Republican nominee Pat McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor who has minor primary opposition and has focused on building his campaign war chest.
McCrory, who lost to Perdue four years ago, has raised more than $3 million for his 2012 campaign, according to reports filed with the North Carolina Board of Elections. Dalton has raised $1.4 million, the most among Democratic contenders. (Reporting by Wade Rawlins; Writing By Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Vicki Allen)