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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – The North Carolina Democratic Party is launching a new ad on Monday to attack the economic agenda being touted by Republicans, including those running for the U.S. Senate.

The ad, which will be distributed via social media, primarily Facebook, addresses three of the 14 Republicans who are seeking the seat being vacated by the retiring Republican Richard Burr: Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance), former Gov. Pat McCrory of Charlotte and former Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro.

A new ad on social media attacks the three front-runners for U.S. Senate. (NCDP)

At issue are recent statements by Republican leadership about how the GOP might approach governing should it regain control of the House and the Senate in the midterm elections this November.

Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who some think might be a candidate for the presidency in 2024, issued what he called “An 11-Point Plan To Rescue America.” That plan addresses hot-button issues, such as how to deal with crime and immigration and to grow the economy, along with social issues involving race and education.

Many of those topics are common in American political debate, but what prompted the Democrats’ ire was Scott’s suggestion to change the tax structure to ensure that everyone pays some income tax, to “have skin in the game.”

His position was exacerbated, to the Democrats’ thinking, by comments from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who suggested he would like to see a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act should the GOP regain control.

“If we’re for example, if we were going to repeal and replace Obamacare — I still think we need to fix our health-care system — we need to have the plan ahead of time so that once we get in office, we can implement it immediately, not knock around like we did last time and fail,” Johnson told Breitbart News.

The Hill reported that “Johnson later issued a statement saying he wasn’t suggesting repealing and replacing the health care law should be a priority but was rather using Republicans’ failure to do so as an example of how the GOP should be prepared to deliver what they run on.”

In its ad, the NCDP has pulled direct quotes from McCrory and Walker about how well they know Scott – “a friend, McCrory said – and respect him – “He should be Leader,” Walker said. Budd, who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, was note quoted.

A release by the NCDP says that these statements underscore the possibility that tax rates could rise “on 40% of North Carolinians” and threaten not only the Affordable Care Act – the premiums and coverage protected by that plan – but also Medicare and Social Security.

“Over the past month, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have freely admitted what a GOP majority would do, and Ted Budd, Pat McCrory, and Mark Walker are all on the hook for it,” NCDP spokesperson Kate Frauenfelder said. “As voters continue to tune into the midterm elections, North Carolina Democrats won’t let up on highlighting the GOP agenda of tax hikes and higher health care premiums to the Tar Heel State.” 

The race is on

The race to replace Burr is one of the keys to which party might control the Senate next year. Democrats and Republicans currently have 50 seats apiece, but the Democrats hold the edge because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote.

In November 35 of those 100 — 21 Republicans and 14 Democrats – will be on the ballot, and there will be special elections in Oklahoma and California to fulfill the terms of retiring Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Harris’ replacement.

There are 26 total candidates to replace Burr, with 11 Democrats and one Libertarian.  Although McCrory and Budd have been releasing ads to attack one another and Walker is crossing the state in a bus, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley appears to be the front-runner on the Democratic side. Newcomer Marjorie Eastman of Cary has surprised some with her fundraising and aggressive campaigning.

The Primary Election is May 17, and North Carolina law requires that a candidate win 30% of the votes cast plus one to be declared a winner. Otherwise the top two vote-getters would be in a runoff, which would be scheduled for June or July.

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The candidates

Democrats (11): Greg Antoine of Fayetteville, Cheri Beasley of Raleigh, Chrelle Booker of Tryon, James L. Carr Jr. of Harrisburg,Robert Colon of Wilmington, Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond of Raleigh, Lov Johnson of Charlotte, Tobias LaGrone of Greensboro, B.K. Maginnis of Charlotte, Rett Newton of Beaufort and Marcus Williams of Lumberton.

Republicans (14): Jen Banwart of Fuquay Varina, Lee Brian of Clayton, Leonard Bryant of Fayetteville, Drew Bulecza of Lincolnton, Ted Budd of Advance, Marjorie Eastman of Cary, David Flaherty of Cameron, Benjamin Griffiths of Cleveland, Kenneth Harper Jr. of Archdale, Pat McCrory of Charlotte, Charles Kenneth Moss of Randleman, Lichia Sibhatu of Raleigh, Debora Tshiovo of Moravian Falls and Mark Walker of Greensboro.

Libertarian: Shannon Bray of Apex.