If 2010 was the year of the tea party movement in North Carolina, then 2012 looks like the year of moving up the state's political ladder.
Seventy-five people filed to run for the state's 13 congressional seats -- higher than the 69 who filed two years ago when tea party and Republican forces flooded ballots to a level not seen in at least 20 years. There are also more candidates for Council of State positions compared to 2008.
The candidates include eight state legislators seeking higher office such as governor and lieutenant governor.
Political experts attribute this year's candidate surge to unexpected retirements such as Gov. Beverly Perdue and U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick.
More Republicans are filing because they believe they can win the general election if they win the nomination.