Carson, Jones Facing Competitive Primaries

The Democratic presidential primaries in Indiana and North Carolina are drawing all the national media attention, but two key congressional primaries are also worth watching Tuesday.

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) may only have been in office for less than two months, but he's long been in full campaign mode as he faces a serious primary challenge.

Carson, who won a special election in March to fill out the remainder of his late grandmother's term, is now facing former state health commissioner Woodrow Myers, who's dropped nearly $1 million of his own money into the campaign, and two other credible candidates. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Barack Obama have endorsed Carson.

The political arm of the Service Employees International Union aired a TV advertisement for Carson - and Obama cut a radio spot.

Many observers expect a high turnout in Tuesday's primary to give Carson a boost, as will his famous last name and short-lived incumbent status. But Myers' campaign released an internal poll from last month, showing him within six points of Carson, and gaining ground.

In North Carolina, Republican Rep. Walter Jones is also facing the prospect of a competitive GOP primary against Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin in the Outer Banks-area district. The seven-term Republican has drawn fire for his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war in a district that is home to the Marine's Camp Lejuene and a large number of veterans.

Jones' opposition to the war and increasing criticism of his own party has drawn sharp criticism from some of the district's leading Republican Party activists.
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