GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — With all the talk in the race for Senate in North Carolina focusing on Ted Budd’s endorsement, Pat McCrory’s anger about PAC attacks and Mark Walker’s reignited campaign aboard a new bus, a new name emerged among the Republicans raising money to pursue the nomination: Marjorie K. Eastman.

Eastman got attention recently when fourth-quarter campaign finance reports from the Federal Election Commission showed that she had generated more than $423,273 in donations, based on the report she filed for October-December.

That was significantly less than Budd’s $968,360 or McCrory’s $748,072, but it was more than Walker’s $146,053. To be fair to Walker, he spent most of the past couple of months trying to determine whether he would stay in the race or follow former President Donald Trump’s request to step aside and seek a return to Congress, perhaps in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District.

Congressional candidate Marjorie Eastman (Marjorieikeastman.com)

He clarified that last week with an energetic rally at which he unveiled his bus, asked supporters to help him along the road and reiterated his record and commitment. He made comments that would allude to Budd, the current representative of the 13th District, whom Trump has endorsed, and McCrory, the former governor, because of the contributions they were drawing from political-action committees.

There wasn’t much discussion about Eastman, but she has drawn support.

Her website tells us she was a decorated intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, an author and the mother of a young son. She has two master’s degrees (University of Denver and Vanderbilt), and her husband, Charles, is a retired Army Ranger. They live in Cary.

Because of her background, her campaign focuses on security – both border security and international relations – the economy and children’s education.  He education and service inform many of her perspectives.

About the Senate money

Budd has taken over the fundraising lead based on his fourth-quarter filing, with more than $3 million collected and $2,226,866 on hand. McCrory is slightly behind in total dollars and has $1,959,198 on hand. Walker has brought in about $1,573,375 and has about $571,737 on hand.

All of them dramatically trail the funds of the presumed Democratic nominee, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. She has taken in nearly $5 million, including $2,145,602 in the fourth quarter, and she has about $2,820,769.

Congressional races 1

With election maps up in the air, who is running for which congressional seat remains a bit of musical chairs. Kathy Manning’s announcement Friday that she would seek re-election, followed by the N.C. Supreme Court’s ruling to toss out the electoral maps the General Assembly had adopted, outpaces where the FEC places her among candidates.

Manning took in $279,950 in the fourth quarter, most of it in smaller donations, and has received $1,105,294 overall. She has about $956,247 cash on hand, the FEC says, which lists Manning among candidates in the 6th District she now serves.

That district, which is all of Guilford County and the Winston-Salem area, has been split into four districts, and she is listed a co-incumbent in the 11th District, which includes current 5th District Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk).

Foxx announced her candidacy in November and is shown by the FEC in the 11th District. She generated $231,219 in the fourth quarter and $948,889 overall. But she has served since 2004 and has $2,713,281 cash on hand.  

Congressional races 2

The rest of the congressional races are kind of mixed up, too, largely because the maps are in limbo and because incumbents’ districts changed. Not many candidates filed paperwork during the less than two days in December when that was possible.

One factor also is ambitious Republican newcomer Bo Hines of Winston-Salem, a colleague of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville) who at one point was going to run against Foxx, is listed among eight Republicans in the vacant and Republican-leaning 7th District, which includes eastern Guilford County and Davidson County, western Wake County and all of Randolph, Alamance, Chatham and Lee counties. This is the district in which Trump wanted Walker to run.

Hines has taken in $865,0080 – including $188,403 in the fourth quarter – and has $396,993 cash on hand, which is about triple the next closest Republican, Wake County resident Chad Slotta ($238,306). Vince Castelli, who recently announced his candidacy, said he had $146,022.

Only one Democrat, Denton Lee, has posted contributions ($6,835).

Congressional races 3

Highlights from fundraising among other candidates:

  • There are two incumbents listed among candidates in the 10th District, which includes southwestern Guilford County, western Davidson County, southern Iredell County, and Davie, Rowan and Cabarrus, and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Concord) has filed his paperwork to run. Hudson has taken in $1,562,608 and has $1,179,939 on hand. Then there is Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Denver), who is really an incumbent in the 12th District. Hs has taken in $1,463, 576 and has $2,219,873 on hand. Democrat Scott Huffman, who lost to Budd in the 13th District race in 2020, has brought in $44,178 to run in District 10.
  • In the 11th District, another Republican, Bruce O’Connell is listed as having brought in $1,043,484, but most of that is a $1 million loan he made to his campaign. But O’Connell lives in Candler, which is in Buncombe County, part of the 14th District. That seat also is sort of vacant because incumbent Cawthorn has said he plans to run in the 13th District (he lives in the 14th).
  • With McHenry listed in the wrong district, the fundraising in the 12th District (which is all of Forsyth, Yadkin, Catawba and Lincoln counties and part of Iredell) is modest. Democrat Madeline Parra has taken in $58,329, but she said she suspended her campaign. Republican Francisco Rios has collected $45,800 – including a $7,400 loan – but lists no cash on hand.