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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – North Carolina Republicans this week took a more formal step in their political gamesmanship with their Democratic rivals.

You may recall that in August NC Democrats sent a potato chip gift basket to the office of Senate candidate Ted Budd after he had voted against a bill to expand the production of semiconductor chips.

This is the engraved invitation the NC GOP sent to Cheri Beasley’s office. (NC GOP)

Republicans this week found their counterpunch when Democratic opponent Cheri Beasley did not attend an event in Durham on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. They cited her comments about her schedule and sent Beasley an engraved invitation to attend.

The invite, which was dropped off at Beasley’s headquarters, included directions to Yellen’s event, an email from the NC GOP said.

The situations are slightly different – the chips were about a vote in the House, and Beasley was not an elected official who participated in Yellen’s economic visit – but the shots across the bows of the campaigns were similar and added levity to what typically is a tense process in a very close race.

“Beasley needs to be upfront with North Carolinians on why she embraces the Biden administration’s policies. We invited Cheri Beasley to attend the visit of Biden’s Treasury Secretary, given her own support of the Biden administration’s inflationary policies,” RNC spokesperson Taylor Mazock told WGHP.

The NC Democrats didn’t have anything to say about the invite.

The campaigns

LEFT: Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley speaks to canvassers at Ebenzer Baptist Church on September 17, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) RIGHT: Republican Congressman Ted Budd speaks at a Make America Great Again rally in Greensboro International Airport, in Greensboro, North Carolina on October 27, 2020. (Photo by Grant BALDWIN / AFP)
Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley (left) and Republican Ted Budd (Photo by Grant BALDWIN / AFP)

Meanwhile, the several-times-a-day back and forth between the two campaigns and their national and state party backers had a few noteworthy nuggets this week:

  • Beasley released a new ad highlighting her commitment to supporting investments in training and apprenticeship programs to improve the job market and to note Budd’s record of opposing these programs.
  • Budd introduced the No Chips For China Act, a bill that would prevent companies that take taxpayer funding in the CHIPS and Science Act from building or transferring any semiconductor manufacturing operations to China for 10 years.
  • Budd, who has been pushing his support from law enforcement, also voted for a measure to increase grants for smaller police departments to expand community-policing programs and voted for the VICTIM Act, which creates a new $1 billion grant program within the Department of Justice.
  • But Beasley slammed Budd for his vote against the Presidential Election Reform Act, a bipartisan bill that would ensure that presidential transfers of power won’t be affected by the sort of interference that occurred with the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. The bill passed the House with nine GOP backers, none of them from North Carolina. A Senate companion bill seems to be getting momentum, too.

Castelli pushing campaign

Christian Castelli, the newcomer Republican from Moore County who is challenging incumbent Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) in the 6th Congressional District, became more aggressive this week with announcements about his campaign.

Christian Castelli, GOP nominee in the 6th Congressional District. (CAMPAIGN PHOTO)

Castelli had been relatively quiet, even when winning the primary, and only since June has hired a campaign manager and opened an office in Greensboro.

Castelli in a release this week said he had been added by the National Republican Congressional Committee to its “Young Guns” program to elevate his campaign. Races in North Carolina’s 1st, 13th and 14th Districts also are on that list.

The RNC earlier this year targeted Manning, who is concluding her first term, as a potential seat to flip because new district lines made the voter profile slightly less Democrat.

“We feel the momentum for our campaign on the ground,” Castelli said in a statement released by his campaign. “We’re ready to win this race.”

Castelli, who touts that he has contacted 100,000 voters in the district, which includes all of Guilford and Rockingham Counties, most of Winston-Salem and most of Caswell County, also issued a statement to outline four ideas he would support if he were to win:

  1. Term limits of no more than two terms in the Senate and three terms in the House.
  2. Increase the punishment for Congressional ethics violations related to financial disclosures to a minimum of $5,000 per violation.
  3. Ban contributions to members of Congress from entities under committee jurisdiction.
  4. Extending the lobbying ban for former members of Congress to 5 years.


  • Republican Sen. Thom Tillis on Thursday threw his support behind GOP newcomer Bo Hines in the open 13th District. Hines, who hopped districts for a place to run, took some heat this week for a campaign ad.
  • Absentee votes continue to arrive in election offices. Counts through Thursday show that there have been 12,268 accepted ballots statewide, elections expert Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University reports. That’s far below the 2020 cycle but far ahead of the roughly 1,100 that had been received on this date in 2018. Of those votes cast, 53% are from registered Democrats, 16% from Republicans and 31% from Unaffiliated. More than half are from women. “We’ve sent out about 4,000 ballots, and we have about 400 back,” Guilford County Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said. “It’s pretty good for a midterm, of course it’s no presidential, but it’s a good pace now.”
  • Richard Hudson, the Republican representing the 8th District and running in the 9th District, which includes Randolph County, is in line to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee. Current 10th District Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Statesville) also could be elevated in GOP leadership if the party retakes control of the House.

Election schedule

Here are the important dates – and everything else you need to know – for this election cycle:

  • Oct. 14: Last day to register to vote except for same-day registration at polling precincts.
  • Oct. 20: One-stop, early, in-person voting begins. Hours and locations will be set by county election boards and published before this date.
  • Nov. 1: Deadline for civilians to request an absentee ballot.
  • Nov. 5: Early, in-person voting ends at 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 8: Polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Mail-in voting: Any voter may request, receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot. No special circumstance or reason is needed. Registered voters in North Carolina must request an absentee ballot with an official N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form, which can be submitted digitally through the N.C. Absentee Ballot Portal or on paper with a fillable PDF document available in English and Spanish. Those can be tracked through BallotTrax.