RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The 2014 campaign season has begun in North Carolina as candidates seeking political office head to Raleigh to file.

Dozens of candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress and judgeships swarmed the State Board of Elections office in Raleigh at midday Monday to fill out paperwork and pay filing fees. Similar scenes played out at local election offices in all 100 counties for General Assembly, school board and county seats. The filing period ends at noon Feb. 28.

In Raleigh, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mark Harris and Ted Alexander were among those who came on the first day, as did U.S. Rep. David Price and at least two candidates for Mel Watt's vacant congressional seat.

The primary is May 6, with runoffs likely on July 15. The general election is Nov. 4.

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