The news that Linda Coleman will become head of the state personnel office opens up a seat that Republicans held as recently as 2004...but their chances of claiming it again in 2010 seem pretty minimal.
Coleman knocked off Republican incumbent Sam Ellis that year, and has not been seriously contested for reelection in her two subsequent contests. The district, like most of Wake County, has trended Democratic with the rapid growth it's experiencing. George W. Bush did win it by a narrow margin in 2004 but it's safe to say Obama took it this year, and Democrats swept the state offices four years ago with Mike Easley taking the district by over 20 points.
As long as local Democrats don't nominate someone off the wall for Bev Perdue to appoint to the seat this should be a Democratic hold in 2010 even with someone running for the first time.