NORTH CAROLINA -- With the primary in North Carolina’s 9th District do-over congressional election now less than a month away, money is beginning to pour into the race.
- Dan McCready (D) has raised the most money with $1.4 million.
- For Republicans, State Sen. Dan Bishop has the edge heading into the last month of the primary.
Leading the pack financially is Democrat Dan McCready, who faced off against Republican Mark Harris in the fall and who has been fundraising effectively since the original race was called into question over allegations of election fraud.
McCready has more than $1.4 million on hand as of March 31, according to FEC filings.
While McCready is not facing off against anyone in the primary - he is the sole Democrat - he is already actively campaigning, notes Alex Baumgart, who researches money in politics at the Center for Responsive Politics.
“He spent about $200,000 on online ad buys in this first three months of 2019, which is a pretty significant amount for money for a race like this,” Baumgart said.
What remains unclear is how much of McCready's fundraising comes from within North Carolina or the 9th District. Several national Democrats including some presidential contenders have shared a link to a fundraising website on their social media pages, urging people to donate to the McCready camp.
In the large Republican field, things are tighter financially. State Sen. Dan Bishop has the edge heading into the last month of the primary, with his campaign reporting about $380,000 cash on hand as of March 31, according to FEC filings.
About $250,000 of that comes from a loan Bishop gave his own campaign.
Baumgart says it is not atypical for candidates to give a loan as seed money to their campaign. FEC filings show McCready, for example, loaned his campaign cash during the fall cycle.
“This is going to be something you can use to finance maybe a salary for a staffer or a number or staffers, pay for some online ads, some ad buys in the local media channels, and start attracting that kind of money,” Baumgart said. “And once you have that kind of money coming in, you can repay that loan.”
Beyond Bishop, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour has $62,000 cash on hand as of the filing deadline.
Stony Rushing, a Union county commissioner who Harris supported when he backed out of the redo election, reported more than $20,000 cash on hand.
Leigh Thomas Brown, a realtor, tweeted Tuesday that she has raised nearly $200,000, with much of that coming since the fundraising deadline.
The primary is set for May 14, with the general election slated for September. If a runoff is needed, the general election will be pushed off until November