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Political Notebook: Budd campaign touts boost in voter support after Trump endorsement

Ted Budd’s U.S. Senate campaign on Monday released survey results from 500 likely Republican primary voters indicating a bump in favorability when they were told the congressman received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Across two days last week, Meeting Street Insights surveyed voters using a mix of cellphone and landline interviews, which resulted in a 45% positive swing for Budd, a Republican currently representing the 13th district in the U.S. House. The campaign has attributed that surge to the recent endorsement of Budd by former President Donald Trump at the state’s GOP convention on June 5.

The survey determined former Gov. Pat McCrory remains the most familiar GOP candidate in the race, but that “Budd is on the move,” and has surpassed former Rep. Mark Walker. McCrory had 58% favorability, while Budd came in at 28% favorable. Walker’s favorability, according to the survey, was 23%.

When asked for whom voters would support after being told of Trump’s endorsement, Budd surged to a 19-point lead over McCrory, said Rob Autry of Meeting Street Insights. A challenge for the campaign could be making sure voters know about the endorsement.

Autry says the survey shows the primary will ultimately come down to a two-candidate race between McCrory and Budd.

Some of the Democratic candidates in the race include Cheri Beasley, former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, state Sen. Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County and former state Sen. Erica Smith.

Smith lost the U.S. Senate primary in 2020 to Cal Cunningham, who was then defeated by Sen. Thom Tillis in November.

Cooper signs four health-related bills into law, including two sponsored by Rep. Sasser

Since Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper has signed four bills related to health into law, including two sponsored by Rep. Wayne Sasser.

House Bill 224 establishes an occupational therapy interstate compact, which allows out-of-state occupational therapists to provide care to North Carolinians remotely. Sasser, a Republican representing Rowan, Stanly and Cabarrus counties, is among the co-sponsors and chairs the Health Committee.

Another bill signed into law Monday is the Senate version of H.B. 95, which Sasser filed in the House in February. Senate Bill 135 allows organ donors to remain donors on a permanent basis without renewing their status each time their driver’s license or ID must be renewed.

Senate Bill 248 requires health insurers to note on their insurance cards whether the plan is fully insured or self-funded. The legislation applies to the State Health Plan as well. It becomes effective Oct. 1.

S.B. 248 is the only bill of the four signed by Cooper that saw any opposition, which came from three Democrats in the House.

S.B. 586 directs the Legislative Research Commission to study lipedma, a condition mostly impacting women that’s characterized by increased enlargement of both legs due to deposits of fat beneath the skin. Symptoms may include enlargement of the upper legs, arms, pain and easy bruising. The condition differs from obesity due to the nature of the fat underneath the skin.

The commission would be required to report its findings and any proposed legislation to lawmakers in the 2022 regular session.

House leaders send Cooper letter calling for clarity on metrics used to end state of emergency

Last week, two Republican House leaders sent Gov. Roy Cooper a letter calling on him to provide details related to the metrics and data needed to end the state’s emergency order.

The letter, written by House Majority Leader John Bell of Wayne County and Deputy Majority Whip Keith Kidwell of Beaufort County, references a June 2nd news conference during which the governor did not clearly answer a question about ending the state of emergency.

“North Carolina has now been under a self-declared state of emergency for over 450 days,” the letter states. “There seems to be no urgency or plan to end the state of emergency. We believe this is unsatisfactory. The people of North Carolina have worked extremely hard to follow and adhere to social distancing guidelines and restrictions. They deserve more information and transparency in this process.”
The letter also references South Carolina’s decision to allow its order to expire last week and Virginia’s decision to not renew its order when it expires at the end of June.

Both Bell and Kidwell are the primary sponsors of House Bill 264, or the Emergency Powers Accountability Act, which passed 69-50 along party lines in the House and is making its way through the Senate. Both Reps. Harry Warren, R-76, and Wayne Sasser, R-67, are also sponsors. H.B. 264 requires the governor to seek the concurrence of the Council of State when issuing statewide emergency declarations beyond 30 days.

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