Paul Fogleman,

Republicans need to pick up six seats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. One of those seats is supposed to be from North Carolina, but voters haven’t said “yes.” Not yet. The consensus has been that the race between incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis is too close to call. However new polls—several–are showing Sen. Hagan inching ahead.

The National GOP has sent in big guns to help Speaker Tillis, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who attracted a large crowd in Wilmington and stars from Fox News. Millions of dollars from groups such as Americans For Prosperity headed by Karl Rove are pouring into the state. National Democrats are making major television buys on behalf of Hagan. If an effort to “take money out of politics” were successful, North Carolina media would lose an estimated $24 million in the senate race alone.


General Assembly House and Senate candidates also are seeking contributions for races that are growing more expensive by the year. While most legislators have safe seats—some with no opposition—there are about 50 of the 170 districts where the outcome could go either way. Republicans are expected to maintain their majorities in both chambers, but Democrats could pick up six to eight seats in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties where 22 percent of the state voters reside. These who counties are receiving new residents with more moderate views on social issues and education. HOSEPAC, our political action committee, is raising money to help pro-business candidates who have supported to industry agenda.


Personal contributions to HOSEPAC from industry executives are needed as the campaigns head in the final stretch. Please send them to HOSEPAC, P.O. Box 1708, Hickory NC, 28603. Call us at 828-322-7766 for more information and send us a request by our email.


State Budget Director Lee Roberts reported earlier this week that revenue is $200 million below projections for the first two months of the current fiscal year. Taxes and fee collections were short of estimates, but Roberts, who succeeded Art Pope, insists it is too early to determine if the July-August revenue represents a trend.


The fall marketing conference for members of the Synthetic Yarn and Fibers Associations will be held October 2-3 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Charlotte. The theme: Increasing Opportunities—What’s New in Textiles. This traditionally has been a “must” for industry marketers following important trends in product innovations and sales.

The SYFA recently moved its headquarters to the Washington DC area from the Charlotte region.


The long session of the General Assembly in North Carolina convenes January 14, 2015. That’s scarcely 16 weeks away. There will be a new speaker in the House, but Senate leadership is expected to continue under Phil Berger and associates. Will the new Speaker be as close to the Governor as Thom Tillis? And will fence-mending between the Senate and Governor’s office be accomplished? And will tax reform be undertaken in the off-election year? And what surprises are pending from disgruntled legislators? All lies ahead in a challenging year for North Carolina and its business community.

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