NC Dems out­raise GOP in bid to flip 2 con­gres­sional seats

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Local - BY BRIAN MUR­PHY AND JIM MORRILL bmur­[email protected]­clatchydc.com jmor­[email protected]­lot­teob­server.com Brian Mur­phy: 202.383.6089; Twit­ter: @Mur­phinDC

Democrats in two closely watched North Carolina con­gres­sional races out­raised their Repub­li­can coun­ter­parts 2-to-1 in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018, a sign that the dis­tricts could be key bat­tle­grounds in the na­tional fight to con­trol the U.S. House.

Democrats Dan McCready and Kathy Man­ning held large money ad­van­tages over their op­po­nents in the GOPheld 9th and 13th dis­tricts, re­spec­tively, be­fore the sec­ond quar­ter be­gan April 1. The fundrais­ing quar­ter ended June 30 and cam­paigns are re­quired to file their re­ports with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion by July 15. Each out­raised their Repub­li­can op­po­nents in the first quar­ter as well.

McCready, an Iraq War vet­eran who owns a so­lar com­pany, will re­port rais­ing more than $833,000 in the sec­ond quar­ter and has $1.8 mil­lion cash on hand. Mark Har­ris, his Repub­li­can op­po­nent and a for­mer Bap­tist pas­tor, will re­port rais­ing more than $400,000 with $300,000 cash on hand. Har­ris de­feated in­cum­bent Rep. Robert Pit­tenger in the GOP pri­mary in May in south-cen­tral North Carolina’s 9th district, which runs from Char­lotte to Fayet­teville along the South Carolina bor­der.

A poll re­leased this week by the con­ser­va­tive, Raleigh-based Civ­i­tas In­sti­tute showed McCready with a 7-point lead in the race. In 2016, Pit­tenger won the district with 58 per­cent of the vote, and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump car­ried the district by more than 11 points. The poll came dur­ing me­dia cov­er­age of a 2013 ser­mon Har­ris de­liv­ered which ques­tioned if ca­reers in­ter­fered with women’s bi­b­li­cal roles.

“I’m grate­ful for the over­whelm­ing sup­port we’ve re­ceived all across the district since the start of the cam­paign,” McCready said in a state­ment. “Af­ter 55 years of sin­gle-party lead­er­ship, few peo­ple thought this race could be com­pet­i­tive ...”

Har­ris ran un­suc­cess­fully for GOP nom­i­na­tion for the Se­nate in 2014 and House in 2016, but up­set Pit­tenger in May. A Civ­i­tas poll in March showed him down by 32 points, but Har­ris seized on a spend­ing bill vote by Pit­tenger and won the race de­spite be­ing out-raised by 2-to-1 by the in­cum­bent.

Spokes­men for Har­ris were not avail­able.

Man­ning, an at­tor­ney, will re­port rais­ing more than $ 725,000 in the sec­ond quar­ter with $1.3 mil­lion cash on hand. Ted Budd, a first-term Repub­li­can con­gress­man who owns a gun shop, will re­port rais­ing nearly $350,000 and has about $ 780,000 cash on hand in the 13th District, which runs from Statesville to Greens­boro.

“What it demon­strates is how ex­cited peo­ple are about Kathy and this cam­paign. Vot­ers in the 13th District are go­ing to have a real choice,” said Tori Tay­lor, Man­ning’s cam­paign man­ager.

Budd emerged from a 17-way GOP pri­mary in 2016 and won the seat with 56 per­cent of the vote.

Man­ning has ac­cepted do­na­tions from po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tees, but has es­chewed what she calls “spe­cial in­ter­est cor­po­rate PAC money,” ac­cord­ing to her cam­paign. She has more than 30,000 in­di­vid­ual donors with an av­er­age do­na­tion of $21, ac­cord­ing to her cam­paign.

“I’m proud to have earned the sup­port of thou­sands of North Carolini­ans who are prov­ing that it’s pos­si­ble to take on a Wash­ing­ton bought and sold politi­cian like Con­gress­man Budd with­out ac­cept­ing a dime of spe­cial in­ter­est cor­po­rate PAC money,” Man­ning said in a state­ment.

This story has been up­dated to re­flect Budd’s fundrais­ing to­tal for the sec­ond quar­ter.

Kathy Man­ning

Dan McCready

Ted Budd

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