Politics & Government

Political news

Demonstrators gathered on Franklin Street to protest House Bill 2.
Jessa O'Connor

Amid national criticism over the law that restricts anti-discrimination protection, McCrory says he's willing to "make this bill better."

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons/Flickr

Young people are voting in record numbers, and they're getting encouragement from school systems and voter advocacy organizations.

More than 3,600 Wake County high school students have registered to vote this school year. The school district's voter registration coordinator Abby Stotsenberg says that's three times as many students as registered last year.

Photo: Attorney General Roy Cooper
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will not defend the state’s controversial new law that requires transgender people to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth. He said today the mandate is unconstitutional and conflicts with some state agency policies.

Photo: Joaquín Carcaño, a 27-year-old transgender man, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's new bathroom law.
Jorge Valencia

Two transgender people and a lesbian law professor filed a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging a new North Carolina law that requires public school students to use bathrooms assigned to their biological sex and blocks local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules.

The filing argues that the law violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment, discriminating against certain groups because of their gender or orientation and threatening their personal safety.


President Obama made history Sunday when he became the first president in 88 years to set foot in Cuba. He addressed concerns about human rights violations and political abuses and called for the lifting of the decades-long trade embargo. He was accompanied by a bipartisan congressional coalition, including U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC). Host Frank Stasio talks with Rep.

Bathroom sign



The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law eliminating nondiscrimination provisions for LGBT individuals by city governments.


The North Carolina Republican party leadership is in a state of disarray as the central committee casts a vote of no-confidence in the chairman, Hasan Harnett.

The leader has been at odds with other members of the party over the upcoming convention. Party leaders allege Harnett violated eight internal rules. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol Bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest.

An image of Wildin David Guillen Acosta
The Acosta family

Riverside High School senior Wildin David Guillen Acosta was detained by ICE officers in January. Acosta sought asylum in the United States after he says his life was threatened by gangs in his native Honduras.

Legal efforts to stop his deportation failed, but over the weekend, Congressman G.K. Butterfield convinced the director of ICE, Sarah Saldana, to issue an executive stay that allows Acosta to remain in a detention facility in Georgia.

An image of a person typing on a keyboard
Wikipedia Creative Commons / Public Domain

State agencies in North Carolina agree that emails sent through private accounts are subject to public records law if they have to do with public business. But they do not agree on how to retrieve those records. 

In most cases, it is left up to the employee as to whether an email sent through a private account qualifies as a public record. The subject got nationwide attention last year when it was revealed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email account to conduct public service.

Nathan Rupert via Flickr Creative Commons

Durham Police officers disproportionately pulled over black male drivers during traffic stops from 2010 to 2015, and officers focusing on drug and law enforcement were more likely to stop black drivers than those in any other unit, according to a study released Thursday.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland

President Obama made his selection for the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court this morning: Merrick Garland.

The President called on the Senate to confirm the former prosecutor and DC Circuit Court Chief Judge. And the road to the White House has one less traveler after Marco Rubio bowed out following his defeat by Donald Trump in his home state of Florida.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won their respective fights in North Carolina yesterday. 

An image of Gov. Pat McCrory speaking after voters approved a $2.2B bond referendum
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

The results are in for the North Carolina primary. In the race for president, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary and Donald Trump has been declared the winner on the Republican side. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, poll results show:

Primary Recall

Mar 15, 2016
N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC


For many election cycles, North Carolina held its primary in early May. This year the state hosts two primary elections. State lawmakers chose an earlier date (eventually settling on March 15th) with the hopes of being a more prominent, visible, player during the national race.

Photo: Bernie Sanders rally
Jorge Valencia

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont spoke to thousands of enthusiastic supporters in downtown Raleigh, as part of an effort Friday to garner support in North Carolina and other states that hold primary elections Tuesday.

Roy Cooper's Campaign Donations
Suja Thomas

During the two months of 2016, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Roy Cooper continued to receive more individual campaign contributions than Republican incumbent Pat McCrory. Both candidates saw an uptick in donations as the state's March 15th primary approaches.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

The North Carolina primary is just days away and early voting is already underway. White House hopefuls from both sides of the aisle are visiting the state to make their final pleas for votes. '

Will Tuesday’s votes solidify the nominees on both sides? And GOP contenders met again last night in Miami for a more civil exchange than earlier debates.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

Photo: Gov. Pat McCrory
Jorge Valencia

Voters in North Carolina’s primary election this month will decide on a state plan to borrow $2 billion in bonds for investment in building and renovation projects. Gov. Pat McCrory in early 2015 asked legislators to put the plan on the ballot. The General Assembly approved a version of his proposal later in the year.

Congressman GK Butterfield poses with Hillary Clinton.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hillary Clinton spoke to an audience of more than 1,500 at Hillside High School in Durham, asking for their votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Many in the crowd sported sunburns as they packed into the hot gymnasium—battle scars from the hours-long line they waited in to hear Clinton speak.

Wikipedia Commons/ Hkeely

 In an era where many consumers get their news from Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, how do complex stories of corruption, crime and power get told? And what are the challenges facing today’s shrinking cohort of investigative reporters? 

Photo: A voting ballot
Flickr Creative Commons/ Ken Zirkel

For the first time in 15 years, North Carolina voters will consider a bond referendum on their primary ballot. The funds from the $2 billion ‘Connect NC Bond’ would go toward general improvement in higher education, infrastructure, and state parks, with nearly half of the funds slated for projects in the UNC System.

Ted Cruz visited a Raleigh Baptist church on Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz greeted supporters at a Raleigh Baptist church and taped a town-hall style interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News.

He’s the latest presidential candidate to visit North Carolina ahead of the March 15 primary.

Bill Clinton
Jorge Valencia

Former President Bill Clinton gave speeches in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte on Monday, urging voters to support his wife Hillary and opening a week of heavy presidential campaigning in North Carolina.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wake County District Attorney says the preliminary autopsy report for Akiel Denkins shows that he was shot four times; once in the chest, once in each arm, and once in the right shoulder. 

Denkins, who is black, was shot and killed by Raleigh Police Officer D.C. Twiddy, who is white, on Monday. Police say Twiddy pursued Denkins on foot, they struggled, and Denkins drew a gun before Twiddy fired his own weapon. 

The reports conflict with initial statements from eyewitnesses, which claimed that police shot Denkins several times in the back as he was running away.

NC General Assembly
Jorge Valencia

With Super Tuesday in the books, presidential campaigns are  focusing on Florida, Ohio and North Carolina in advance of a March 15th Primary. That's when North Carolinians head to the polls to select party nominees for president, governor and the state legislature. In total, there are 340 General Assembly primary races on the ballot.

However, only a few of those contests are expected to be competitive.

A picture of a voting sign.
Keith Ivey / flickr.com/photos/kcivey/480629716

Early primary voting begins tomorrow morning and runs through March 12.

North Carolina State Board of Elections Spokeswoman Jackie Hyland says early ballots offer the same candidates as the March 15 primary ballot. But early voters may register the same day as they vote.

Hyland says the a state law requiring valid photo identification is now in effect.  Voters without ID may sign an affidavit explaining why they have no ID and receive a provisional ballot.