Rep. Ted Budd enters North Carolina U.S. Senate race
In his announcement video, the 49-year-old Winston-Salem native highlighted his upbringing in Davie County, noted he is a proud shooting range owner and embraced several culture war symbols. He alluded to six Dr. Seuss books a publisher will stop printing over racist and insensitive imagery, noting that he and his wife read Dr. Seuss books to their children and that “they turned out just fine.”
Budd is the third major GOP candidate to enter the race. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory have also declared their Senate bids.
“All conservatives in North Carolina must stand together so we do not elect another establishment politician to the Senate who says one thing when running and does another when elected,” Walker said, adding that the party “must stay grounded in finally giving our state conservative leadership in the Senate and not gambling on a career politician who has lost more statewide races than he’s won.”
North Carolina to lift outdoor mask rule, raise gathering limits
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday afternoon that the state will soon lift the outdoor mask mandate and boost mass gathering limits to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors, which represents a doubling from the current levels.
North Carolina’s incredible shrinking state budget
Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new two-year state budget a couple of weeks back and, as is almost invariably the case, pundits and politicians on the right quickly issued statements of criticism and condemnation.
Though somewhat more muted than usual, Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger criticized the plan for its “very high spending growth and billions in borrowing.”
North Carolina’s February County and Area Employment Figures Released
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 96 of North Carolina’s counties in February, increased in three, and remained unchanged in one. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.9 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 4.0 percent. All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville had the highest rate at 7.8 percent while Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh each had the lowest at 4.7 percent. The February not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.6 percent.
North Carolina’s March Employment Figures Released
The state’s seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, decreasing 0.5 of a percentage point from February’s revised rate. The national rate decreased 0.2 of a percentage point to 6.0 percent.
North Carolina’s March 2021 unemployment rate increased 1.3 percentage points from a year ago. The number of people employed increased 11,338 over the month to 4,757,553 and increased 44,472 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 27,619 over the month to 259,036 and increased 70,274 over the year.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announces goal to lift COVID-19 restrictions by June 1