With primary looming, eyes turning to North Carolina

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Eyes of candidates and voters are turning to the upcoming NC primary.

When state lawmakers moved the state's primary date up to March, the goal was to give North Carolina voters a bigger say in their party's presidential nomination process. It seems to be working. Candidates are converging here and voters are excited. But Gov. Pat McCrory is steering clear of the presidential politics.

The next seven days will be a sprint to win next Tuesday's primary. Ted Cruz swung through Raleigh on Tuesday, for a town hall with Fox News.

RELATED: Everything you need to know to vote in NC

"I raise my hand and I take an oath to you the people. That's who is working for whom," Cruz told reporters after the event. Cruz canceled a rally slated for later in the day in Raleigh, citing scheduling conflicts.

Donald Trump is set to make his second North Carolina campaign stop of the week with a rally in Fayetteville on Wednesday. Trump's critics got a head start Tuesday evening.

RELATED: Ted Cruz campaigns in Raleigh but scraps expected rally

"Black, white, red, brown, we don't want Trump in this town!" yelled a handful of protesters in a loud demonstration outside Trump's campaign office on Hay Street.

Gov. McCrory is still refusing to take sides on who he wants to win the GOP nomination. In an address Tuesday night, at the Wake County Republican Convention, McCrory stayed focused on his own re-election campaign.

"I want to be a resident of Wake County another 4 years!" McCrory told the crowd inside the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds.

McCrory says he'll support whoever the GOP nominee turns out to be. But the state Democratic Party is doing all it can to tie the governor to Trump.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton coming to Durham, Raleigh high schools

Democrats are hoping to hurt McCrory's re-election bid with negative blowback from a connection to the New York businessman.

"I don't think it will (hurt McCrory)," said Allen Oliver, a Trump supporter from northwest Raleigh. "Trump does say some wild things but he is a good businessman."

Governor McCrory didn't take any questions following his speech to the convention.

On the democratic side, Hillary Clinton has two Triangle campaign events scheduled for Thursday. First, a rally at Durham's Hillside High School. Then, a rally at Broughton High in Raleigh.

North Carolina's primary is Tuesday March 15. Early voting is underway, wrapping up this weekend.

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politicspresidential racenc primaryNorth CarolinaFayettevilleRaleighDurham
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