Harris suspends travel after staffer tests COVID-19 positive
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is suspending in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for coronavirus. Joe Biden’s campaign said Thursday Biden had no exposure, though he and Harris spent several hours campaigning together in Arizona on Oct. 8. Biden and Harris have both had multiple negative COVID tests since then. Harris had been scheduled to travel Thursday to North Carolina and Friday to Ohio. The campaign told reporters Thursday morning that Harris’ communications director and a flight crew member tested positive after a recent campaign trip.
Dueling town halls for Trump, Biden after debate plan nixed
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in dueling town halls instead of meeting for their second debate as originally planned. They’ll take questions in different cities on different networks Thursday — Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia. Trump backed out of plans for the originally scheduled presidential faceoff after debate organizers shifted the format to a virtual event following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. The candidates are taking care of other electoral necessities first: Trump has a midday rally in battleground North Carolina, and Biden is raising campaign cash at a virtual event.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-VOTING
Long lines form as North Carolina begins early voting
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Long lines have formed at polling places across North Carolina as the battleground state kicked off early voting. Early voting locations opened Thursday morning in all 100 counties. More than 500,000 people have already cast mail-in absentee ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At a polling site in south Charlotte, about 100 people were lined up Thursday morning, many who arrived before it opened its doors at 8 a.m. The line was moving briskly and several said they were able to vote in an hour or less. The in-person early voting option continues until Oct. 31 an allows someone to vote at any voting center in their county of residence.
ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper, Forest spar over COVID, economy at governor’s debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest participated in the lone gubernatorial debate of the 2020 election cycle. Cooper criticized Forest for refusing to wear masks at political rallies. Forest attacked Cooper for a slow reopening of schools and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus trends have worsened in North Carolina as the state has transitioned to a Phase 3 reopening. The two also traded jabs about how to support small businesses that are looking to reopen. Cooper did not directly say whether he believes systemic racism is a problem, while Forest said it isn’t a systemic issue.
North Carolina man accused of fatally shooting his mother
TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been accused of fatally shooting his mother during a domestic dispute. The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds at a residence in Taylorsville Wednesday morning. She died before she arrived at a hospital. The release says deputies then pursued the suspect, Christopher Lee Brown, while he was driving a vehicle. Authorities say a chase ensued, but Brown was later arrested after his car came to a stop. Official say he was armed. Brown has been charged with first degree murder and is being held without bond. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOTS
Judge: North Carolina must strengthen absentee witness rule
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered North Carolina elections officials to update absentee voting rules to ensure that voters prove they have had someone witness their ballot. Judge William Osteen issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday ordering state officials to rewrite a directive issued in late September that allowed voters to fix a lack of a witness signature by returning an affidavit. However, he said he wouldn’t block that kind of fix for small errors such as an incomplete witness address. Ballots with incomplete witness info and other deficiencies have been in limbo since at least Oct. 3.
ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper, Forest to compete at lone N.C. gubernatorial debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will participate in the lone gubernatorial debate of the 2020 election cycle. The Wednesday debate will be hosted by the state’s Association of Broadcasters. Cooper has long criticized Forest for refusing to wear masks at political rallies. Forest has attacked Cooper for a slow reopening of schools and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus trends have worsened in North Carolina as the state has transitioned to a Phase 3 reopening. Hospitalizations are at their highest levels since August, with more than 1,100 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Judge rejects N.C. political donor’s prison delay request
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A judge says an insurance company magnate and major North Carolina political donor convicted on corruption-related counts must begin his federal prison term next week. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn rejected Greg Lindberg’s request that that his active sentence be delayed so he can more effectively appeal his conviction and because of an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 in prison. Lindberg is supposed to report Tuesday to a prison in Alabama. Lindberg was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after being convicted in March of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his insurance business.
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