Kamala Harris to make fourth trip to North Carolina this year, will tout federal efforts on climate change

Vice President Kamala Harris is returning to North Carolina this week. It will be her fourth trip to the Tar Heel State this year and her 12th since being sworn into office.

The visit, set for Thursday, will focus on the Joe Biden administration’s work to combat climate change and investments in addressing the climate crisis, further environmental justice and increase access to capital nationwide, particularly in underserved communities.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will join Harris on the trip. Additional details have not yet been released.

Harris was in Raleigh last week with President Biden as the home stretch on a swing through battleground states as the two seek re-election. On that trip, Harris and Biden focused on the administration’s work to lower prescription drug costs, protect Medicare and Medicaid and fight for reproductive freedom.

Harris also visited Black Wall Street in Durham this month, where she announced investments in entrepreneurship, access to capital and small business. Early this year she visited Eastway Middle School in Charlotte, where she announced $285 million in funding to help schools nationwide train mental health counselors through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

North Carolina is an important state for Harris and Biden as they ramp up campaigning for this year’s Presidential Election, a likely rematch against former President Donald Trump, who is now the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Trump won the state in both 2016 against Hillary Clinton and in 2020 against Biden.

Democrats have not won a U.S. Senate seat or a presidential race in North Carolina since 2008, but Trump’s margin of victory in the state four years ago was narrow, at just 1.3 percentage points.

The party sees an opening this year with issues that have proven successful for Democrats in recent years, including reproductive freedom, still dominating headlines. Two statewide GOP candidates, Mark Robinson for Governor and Michele Morrow for State Schools Superintendent, are also highly controversial in that they both have a history of incendiary remarks. That gives Democrats fodder to fire up moderate voters.

But Republicans are fighting back. Ahead of Harris and Biden’s visit last week, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) commissioned a mobile billboard bashing the Democratic nominee for Governor, Josh Stein. The billboard, in addition to tying Stein to the Biden administration, also directed voters to a website established to attack Stein’s record.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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