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2 candidates decide to skip special election

2 candidates decide to skip special election

Most candidates for former Rep. Mel Watt’s vacant U.S. House seat will be on the ballot twice: Once in a special election and once in the regularly scheduled contest.

But two are skipping the special election.

Matthews Republican Leon Threatt and Democrat Rajive Patel of Winston-Salem are only running in the regular election.

With both elections taking place on the same days, voters will see a quirk: Most candidates will have their names on the ballot twice; Threatt and Patel only once.

If one of them goes on to win the general election, he would succeed the candidate who takes office after winning the special election.

Skipping the special election means each man only paid one $1,740 filing fee. Patel says that’s not why he did it.

“I saw where everybody else was filing double,” he says. “I didn’t feel I need to do that.” Jim Morrill

Candidates trade sexism charges

Is cheerleading sexist?

It is according to Democratic congressional candidate Alma Adams.

Defending his support for school vouchers last week, Marcus Brandon, Adams’ 12th District rival and fellow state legislator, criticized Adams and others who “prefer to be a cheerleader instead of a legislator.”

Responding with an online petition headlined “Stand Up to Sexism,” Adams demanded Brandon apologize.

Brandon says Adams is trying to ratchet up her base.

“It’s actually more sexist on her part to read that statement about cheerleaders as being only about women,” he says. “A ‘cheerleader’ has nothing to do with a gender identity. It could have been a man and I would have had the same statement.” Jim Morrill

N.C. film industry forms coalition

Gearing up for a fight over film incentives in this year’s short legislative session, film industry advocates in North Carolina have formed a coalition to help tell their side of the story.

The main goal of the North Carolina Production Alliance is to win a permanent extension of the state’s film incentives program. Without an extension, a law making tax credits available to companies that shoot movies, television shows and commercials in the state will expire at the end of 2014. Film industry officials say that would signal disaster for the industry in North Carolina.

Katy Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the Production Alliance, said its mission is to “create a workable and permanent film incentive, even if some improvements are necessary, to ensure that people will continue to flock to North Carolina and invest in our communities.”

The N.C. Production Alliance is a joint effort of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 491, EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, the Piedmont Triad Film Commission and others. Two TV series film around the Charlotte area, “Homeland” and “Banshee,” while other TV and movie productions also have worked in the region over the past few years.

The alliance is organizing as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. It will be an educational and advocacy group, with no intention of directly lobbying lawmakers, Feinberg said. The Production Alliance now has a website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

The state’s existing film incentives program gives production companies a 25 percent refund on money spent on certain expenses in North Carolina. Because of its potential expiration, it is expected to be debated during this year’s legislative session, which begins in mid-May. The N.C. Insider

Meck GOP dinner speakers set

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will headline the Mecklenburg Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinnner.

The dinner is scheduled for March 15 at Carmel Country Club. Jim Morrrill

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