RALEIGH -

(AP) - Races for president and governor have gotten top billing in North Carolina this year. But with the presidential candidates now focused on other states and the governor's race looking less competitive, two down-ballot races are getting more attention.
    
Millions of dollars of outside money are being spent to influence a race for state Supreme Court and for lieutenant governor through television and radio ads and mailers.
    
The largest amounts of money have gone into the Supreme Court race between Associate Justice Paul Newby and Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV. A group called the North Carolina Judicial Coalition reports it's spent $1.8 million in TV ads backing Newby.
    
The political action committee of the State Employees Association of North Carolina has spent at least $250,000 on ads supporting Coleman.