Rep. McIntyre gets primary challenge

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), who's likely to face another tough race in a heavily Republican district, now has one more thing to worry about: A challenger in the primary election.

New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield (D) announced he'd run for McIntyre's seat on Tuesday, saying the "timing is right" for a campaign.

McIntyre, a Blue Dog Democrat, pulled out a narrow victory in 2012 after Republicans redrew his district to be much more conservative. He's once again a top GOP target this election, and without President Obama's ground game in the state, McIntyre could face a tougher road to victory.

It's unclear whether Barfield will be much more than a distraction for McIntyre. Barfield said he didn't talk to the congressman about entering the race, and he didn't criticize McIntyre in his announcement, a sign that he may not be planning to run hard against him. 

But any distractions can drain resources ahead of the general election. And if the primary forces McIntyre to shift left politically, that could hurt the longtime congressman in 2014.