How much are you willing to pay for something?
Most people are pretty savvy about not paying more than something’s worth. But how much is a state Senate seat worth, when the job itself pays $13,951 a year? Evidently, a lot.
North Carolina Senate District 24 is attracting a lot of attention – and money. So far, it appears that the campaigns and their supporters have spent more than $7,500,000 on television ads alone.
“We see these kinds of races when control of a state legislative chamber might be at stake and when people not only in North Carolina but outside of North Carolina care about the outcome of that race,” Wake Forest University political scientist John Dinan said. “It’s not so much about who controls this particular district, it’s who controls the North Carolina state senate, who controls the North Carolina legislature. That’s what’s at stake.”
Because in years that follow a census, there is plenty of spoils that go to the victor.
“That determines who is going to be drafting and passing the laws that Governor Cooper is then asked to sign. So, there’s a lot riding on that district,” said JD Wooten, the Democrat in the race.
His opponent agrees.
“Well, this is a really important seat,” Republican Amy Galey said. “I think a lot of the money is coming from out of state.”
When you’re spending the kind of money they are for this race, much of it has to come from out of state, Dinan said.
“If you’re in another state, if you’re a Democratic or Republican consultant, you care about who’s drawing up those congressional districts,” Dinan said.
See more on this expensive race in this Your Local Election Headquarters report.