GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Democrat Cheri Beasley is raking in the cash in her pursuit of North Carolina’s about-to-be-open seat in the U.S. Senate, far outdistancing Republican Ted Budd in the fundraising race.
But Budd, a resident of Advance who has represented the 13th Congressional District since 2016, has countered that with millions in super PAC donations from groups such as Club for Growth that don’t show up on the quarterly reports the campaigns file with the Federal Election Commission.
Two financial reports – one pre-primary and the other for the period ending June 30 – filed by the candidates showed that Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, took in just less than $7.5 million in the second quarter and now has gathered more than $16 million since she began her pursuit of the seat Republican Richard Burr is vacating.
Budd gathered more than $2.1 million in the quarter and has amassed just less than $6.5 million overall. Combined, the candidates already have spent nearly $17 million in their primaries and general election and still have more than $6.6 million on hand.
Those reports for all candidates running for federal office were required as of June 30. Most candidates posted their reports to the FEC late Friday or early Saturday and added to those published as of March 31.
“Amy Kate and I thank everyone who has given to our campaign,” Budd said in a release.“In this era of economic uncertainty forced on America by disastrous Biden/Beasley economic policies, I know it’s a sacrifice for folks to donate to a political campaign and we really do appreciate the support.”
Dory MacMillan, a spokesperson from Beasley’s campaign, said that “Congressman Ted Budd’s inability to earn support beyond corporate donors and the ultra-wealthy is only fitting given his career-long focus on putting corporations before people.”
Both candidates’ cash hauls came largely from donors contributing less than $1,000 through their respective parties’ ACTBLUE and WINRED donation cultivation programs. Some individuals gave the maximum of $2,900 to each campaign. Beasley’s donor list is 26,040 entries, and Budd’s is 7,014.
Budd, who was in a spirited primary battle with former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker, newcomer Marjorie K. Eastman and nine others, also loaned his campaign $275,000 in 2021.
Beasley reported donations from some PACS, such as New Direction PAC and Hoops PAC, which each gave $5,000. Budd’s primary campaign received $5,800 from the Senate Conservatives Fund.
Beasley’s release said that her campaign “does not take corporate PAC money,” but both candidates will get help from the super PACs organized by party leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Budd touts having visited all 100 counties during the primary and in campaign statements has challenged that Beasley has not done that. Beasley’s release said that she had received donations from all 100 counties and that she has traveled “from Bryson City to the Out Banks.”
“Despite National Republicans working to prop up Congressman Budd as they try to buy this seat, Cheri continues to earn unmatched support because North Carolinians know she is the only candidate in this race who will stand up to both parties and corporate special interests to put North Carolinians first,” MacMillan said.
“On November 8, the people of North Carolina can vote against Joe Biden [again] by voting for Ted Budd for U.S. Senate,” Budd said. “With her huge cash advantage, maybe Cheri Beasley can afford enough gas to finally visit voters in all 100 counties in North Carolina instead of ignoring them like she did during her three previous statewide campaigns.”
Meanwhile Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) of the 6th Congressional District and Democratic nominee Valerie Foushee in the 4th District built on their financial margins.
Manning, a lawyer seeking a second term in a district that was redrawn to be less of a Democratic certainty than it had been, took in more than $579,000 based on her second-quarter reports, and she has nearly $1.5 million cash on hand.
Foushee, a state legislator from Durham who won a heated and big-spending primary for the seat that retiring Rep. David Price (D-Durham) is vacating, took in more than $478,500 but has only about $47,000 cash on hand.
Manning’s opponent, newcomer Chris Castelli, a businessman and military veteran whose home address is in Southern Pines and not the 6th District, added $200,600 after winning a large primary. He has about $129,500 cash on hand. But he also loaned his campaign $150,000 of that amount.
Courtney Geels, a nurse from Durham, is Foushee’s GOP opponent, having won her own crowded primary, and she has added nearly $67,000 and has more than $56,000 – more than Foushee – on hand.
Elsewhere in the Triad
The three other congressional districts in the 14 counties of the Piedmont Triad are dominated by Republicans who are considered to be in easy races against opponents who have reported very little fundraising. Here’s the rundown:
- 5th District: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) added another $335,000 and has more than $2.6 million on hand to spend against Bernard Kyle Parrish, a Democrat who was unopposed in the primary. But Parrish took in less than $7,500 this quarter and has little more than $8,600 cash on hand.
- 8th District: Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) decided to run in a district that includes some of the counties that were moved out of his current 9th District, had no primary and has little opposition from Democrat Scott Huffman. Bishop added nearly $262,500 and has more than $1.15 million on hand. Huffman added only $15,100 and has $12,919 on hand.
- 9th District: This report is the most curious, because Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Concord), who since 2013 has served the 8th District but jumped east after the district redraw, is dominating in fundraising, and his opponent is AWOL. Hudson added nearly $514,000 and has nearly $1.6 million on hand. He already has spent more than $1.1 million because of four primary opponents. State Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland) is his opponent in the General Election, but Clark has not reported to the FEC, which is required by law. WGHP reached out to Clark to ask about the absence of his reports, but there was no immediate response to an email.
Other key state races
- The 13th District, which is considered the truest toss-up of the state’s 14 races, has a very competitive fundraising picture after a very large primary. State Sen. Wiley Nickel, who won the Democratic primary, has added about $404,000 since March and has taken in $1.78 million overall. Republican Bo Hines, a political novice, added nearly $700,000 and has received $1.68 million overall. But Nickle has a $510,440-to-$103,349 edge in cash on hand.
- In the race to replace disgraced incumbent Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville) in the 11th District, the man who beat him, state Rep. Chuck Edwards, added more than $455,000 and has amassed more than $1.1 million. But he only has $116,897 on hand after beating Cawthorn and six others, which is about half as much as Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara ($236,907). She added nearly $400,000 after a crowded primary and has taken in more than $1.8 million overall.