Jessica Jones

Reporter

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.

Ways To Connect

A picture of an 'I Voted' sticker.
Vox Efx / Flickr

Four out of of seven seats on Wake County's Board of Commissioners are up for election. Republicans currently occupy those positions, but if just one of them loses, Democrats will have a majority on the board.

The Democratic and Republican candidates for the four seats up for election differentiate themselves mostly by ideology. The Republican incumbents are loath to raise taxes and are not openly supportive of a transit tax proposal. Their relationship with the county school board has been tense.

Gavel
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear oral arguments tomorrow over a North Carolina law that would require abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound and describe the image in detail.

The Republican-led state legislature passed the law back in 2011. It would require abortion providers to show their patients images of an embryo or fetus and describe them.

Six organizations quickly challenged the law, and U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles temporarily blocked the ultrasound requirement.

Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards, left, stumps for Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, right.
Jessica Jone / WUNC

With only eight days left to go before Election Day, the race for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat is in high gear. Democratic incumbent Senator Kay Hagan is in a tight race with Republican state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis. Both campaigns are pulling out all the stops to get people to the polls- including bringing national political stars to town.

Wikipedia

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan has called for a temporary ban on travel from countries in Africa affected by Ebola.

The Hagan campaign released the senator's statement Friday afternoon. In it Hagan calls for a temporary travel ban on non-U.S. citizens from the affected countries in West Africa, and she calls on the President to take that step immediately.

Beth Wood
NC Auditor's Office

The state auditor's office is preparing detailed audits of six state government agencies in order to comply with a request from state lawmakers. Earlier this week, lawmakers on the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee asked for the audits. The request will provide specific line item details on how state funds are actually spent, says State Auditor Beth Wood.

3rd senatorial debate
Jim Morrill / Charlotte Observer via Twitter

Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis held their third and final debate in Wilmington last night.

Much of their rhetoric was familiar from their campaign ads and talking points from the first two debates. But this time they were joined by a third candidate,  Libertarian Sean Haugh, who added a fresh perspective to the format. 

Liz Bowles / UNC-TV via Twitter

Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and her challenger, state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis faced off in their second debate Tuesday night. The questions ranged from what to do about the violent Islamic State group to both candidates’ records in Washington and Raleigh. Hagan and Tillis’ exchange was noticeably sharper than it was in the first debate.

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers of the Second Congressional District and her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken, held their first and only debate in Pinehurst Tuesday. The hour-long event covered topics ranging from Islamic State militants to the Affordable Care Act, and it was contentious.

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers and her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken faced off at an hour-long debate Monday in Pinehurst. They discussed a number of topics, ranging from ISIS to the Affordable Care Act to immigration. Ellmers referred to Aiken several times as an "entertainer," and did her best to connect her opponent to President Obama.

"There's a clear choice here," said Ellmers. "Myself, who believes in conservative principles, or my opponent, who would be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama on so many issues."

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers will face her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken in a debate today at Pinehurst.
 

The event will take place before a live audience at a North Carolina Bankers Association conference today. Ellmers is generally acknowledged to be leading the race in the second district. State legislators redrew it in 2011 to favor Republicans.

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