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Stories and features about North Carolina candidates, voters, and the politics of the 2014 mid-term elections. Polls are open across N.C. until 7:30 p.m. on election day, November 4.

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers and Clay Aiken Spar In Debate

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones
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Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers and her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken faced off at an hour-long debate Monday in Pinehurst. They discussed a number of topics, ranging from ISIS to the Affordable Care Act to immigration. Ellmers referred to Aiken several times as an "entertainer," and did her best to connect her opponent to President Obama.

"There's a clear choice here," said Ellmers. "Myself, who believes in conservative principles, or my opponent, who would be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama on so many issues."

For his part, Aiken made sure to connect Ellmers with John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He said he's frustrated by Ellmers and other Republicans not reaching across the aisle to resolve issues:

"I'm tired in general of this sending people back to Washington who say the same thing and then every two years come back and say it again and then go and don't do it."

The debate was held at a North Carolina Bankers Association conference. It will be televised tonight at 7 o'clock on WRAL and  at 11 0'clock on WRAZ-TV.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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