It was all-Democrat affair. However, there was definitely an elephant in the room. Republican Pat McCrory had the Democrats talking as they try to distinguish themselves ahead of a fast approaching primary election.
Wake County Democrats call it their "Valentine Fundraiser" and all three Democrats who say they're running for governor were there hoping to land cash from party donors.
"Very positive. I think people are getting energized," said former Rep. Bob Etheridge. "They're starting to pay attention."
Etheridge worked the room and some say he's the early front-runner on the Democrats' side.
The latest PPP poll shows Etheridge leading the current three-man field, ahead of Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison.
But while the Dems fight it out for the May 8 primary, Pat McCrory had a stage all too himself. The presumptive Republican nominee was in Raleigh Thursday night. He pledged to push through the GOP agenda stalled by Gov. Bev Perdue.
"Every bill that Bev Perdue vetoed will be passed and signed in 2013," said McCrory Thursday.
That language had McCrory's Democratic rivals buzzing.
"He's been running for governor for 3-1/2 years, and he's just beginning to talk about policy," said Dalton. "For the last 3-1/2 years, I've been here working for the people, getting them through the tough times."
"So when Pat McCrory starts talking about what he's going to do, he ought to look at the track record of the party he represents," said Faison. "The track record is you can't trust them, can't believe them, can't depend on them to do what they say. They'll do the opposite."
Two more Democrats threw their hat in the ring for governor Friday. Gary Dunn and Gardenia Henley are both relative unknowns.