RALEIGH – Former Governor Pat McCrory announced this week $1.2 million in funds raised for his U.S. Senate campaign raised since filing for the race in April.
“We’ve proven that we are the only candidate with the record of accomplishments and the ability to marshal the resources necessary to win a statewide primary and general election against the well-funded far-left,” McCrory said in a news release. “I’m especially encouraged by the deep level of small-dollar donations we received.”
Republican primary contenders Mark Walker and Ted Budd have yet to release fundraising totals, but two potential general election opponents have released even higher hauls.
Former NC Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley announced she’d raised $1.3 million over the period, further establishing her pole position in the Democrat primary. But it’s no runaway race; N.C. Senator Jeff Jackson, who’s been in the race longer, boasted over $700,000 raised in the period after pulling in $1.3 million in the prior quarter.
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Whomever the Democratic nominee is is sure to up to their eyeballs in Democrat funds and outside assistance. A winning Republican campaign will necessarily match the fundraising effort, and engender enthusiasm in the voting base.
McCrory boasted a high percentage of small-dollar donations and enjoys the best name ID out of the three GOP candidates, but the statewide street cred is called into question by opponents Walker and Budd, naturally. In endorsing Budd at the NCGOP convention last month, former President Donald Trump alluded to McCrory’s statewide struggles, saying:
“You can’t pick people that have already lost two races,” Trump said in his typical style. “You can’t pick people that have already lost two races and they do not stand for our values.”
It’s a criticism McCrory is bound to face from Budd and former Congressman Mark Walker for the remainder of the primary race. Yet, McCrory remains a presumptive front runner until proven otherwise. Fundraising totals from Walker and Budd will be revealed with July 15 filings.
The latter report will shed light on how much of a Trump bump Budd has enjoyed, and if the powerful endorsement will be enough to overcome the relative deficit in name ID among primary voters. Walker, who’s been in the race the longest, has maintained momentum on the ground, but he has an uphill climb against a former governor and Trump-endorsed opponent.