DA's Race In Durham Brings National Attention To NC

With no congressional races capturing huge attention, the most watched race nationally from North Carolina is that of district attorney in Durham County.

That's where incumbent Mike Nifong has spearheaded the investigation into allegations that three Duke University men's lacrosse players raped a woman hired to dance at a team party.

When voters chose Nifong in May's Democratic primary, he insisted the election wasn't a referendum on the Duke lacrosse rape case. Instead, that's exactly what's happened. Nifong appeared headed toward an easy November win because there wasn't anyone else on the November ballot. Then, as criticism grew of his handling of the lacrosse case, two challengers emerged.

County Commissioner Lewis Cheek collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot, but doesn't actually want the job. Steve Monks is a Republican running a write-in campaign in an overwhelmingly Democratic county.