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Substantial amounts of money are flowing to candidates for the top races in North Carolina.

A recent Carolina Public Press analysis showed that Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory, candidates for North Carolina governor, have collectively raised more than $20 million. The down-ballot statewide candidates aren’t raising anywhere near as much money as that race has generated, but campaign finance filings from this summer showed that candidates for nine statewide races had collectively raised almost $8 million.

Filings for activity since then won’t be available until just before Election Day in November.

Attorney General

Outside of the race between McCrory and Cooper for governor, the contest between Josh Stein and Buck Newton for attorney general, Cooper’s current position, is one of the most expensive in the state.

Stein, a Democrat, had a large fundraising edge over Newton, with $2.2 million raised over the election cycle. Newton raised $700,000 during the election cycle through June, with more than $300,000 coming in during the second quarter, according to state campaign finance filings.

Stein’s major donors include Liggett Vector Brands tobacco company president Ronald Bernstein and his wife, Ann Bernstein, who each gave $5,100; Raleigh attorney John Boswell and his wife, Diane Boswell, who each gave $5,100; and billionaire philanthropist and investor Tom Steyer with $5,100.

James Goodmon, the president of Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns Raleigh-based WRAL-TV, the Durham Bulls and several radio stations, gave $5,100, as did his wife Barbara Goodmon.

Stein received support from political action committees for the Association of Home and Hospice Care of NC ($1,000), the Cozen O’Connor law firm PAC ($1,000), North Carolina Association of Educators PAC ($4,700) and Planned Parenthood ($3,000).

Stein’s largest expense during the election cycle was nearly $300,000 spent on advertising with GMMB, a Washington, D.C.-based media firm. He spent almost $170,000 on direct mailing with Illinois-based The Strategy Group and almost $70,000 on consulting with Raleigh’s Nexus Strategies.

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Newton’s largest contribution during the election cycle was $15,000 donated by Raleigh businessman Bob Luddy, CEO of Captivaire Systems and a well-known Republican donor. Newton gave more than $13,000 to his own campaign and received $10,000 from Salisbury attorney William Graham. Newton received support from political action committees for the tobacco company Altria Group ($1,000), NC Farm Bureau Insurance ($2,500), NC Realtors PAC ($2,500), Piedmont Natural Gas PAC ($2,000), American Kennel Club PAC ($1,000), the NRA ($4,000) and the Reynolds American tobacco company PAC ($9,100).

Lieutenant Governor

Linda Coleman and incumbent Dan Forest, candidates for lieutenant governor, had collectively raised nearly $2 million through June. Forest, a Republican, raised more than $1.3 million during the election cycle, including nearly $365,000 during the second quarter. Coleman raised more than $481,000 during the election, including $226,000 during the second quarter.

Forest received $5,000 individual contributions from Luddy, who also gave to Newton, Julian Rawl of the Greenville-based Rawl and Associates real estate development firm, former Golden Corral CEO Ted Fowler and his wife, Glenda Fowler, and Dale Ardizzone, chief operating officer of The Inspiration Networks broadcasting company. Forest received support from the political action committees for the NC Pork Council ($2,000), Cintas Corporation PAC ($1,000), NC Manufactured and Modular Homebuilders PAC ($1,000), Piedmont Natural Gas PAC ($1,000) and the Wells Fargo & Company Employees Good Government Fund ($1,000).

Forest’s largest expense was more than $340,000 spent with Third Wave Communications on advertising.

Coleman’s $5,000 individual donations came from Goodmon, who also gave to Stein, billionaire activist Jon Stryker, New York-based Summit Rock Advisors CEO David Dechman and van Ameringen Foundation president Henry van Ameringen. The pro-choice political action committee Lillian’s List gave Coleman $5,000. Coleman also received PAC support from Planned Parenthood ($1,000).

Records show Coleman spent almost $97,000 on advertising with Washington, D.C.-based Buying Time Media. She also spent more than $15,500 on direct mailing with Direct Line Politics.

Libertarian candidate Jacki Cole did not file campaign finance paperwork.

Other statewide races

SECRETARY OF STATE: Incumbent Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a Democrat, raised almost $260,000 during this election cycle through June. Records show she raised more than $110,000 during the second quarter and had nearly $130,000 on hand at the end of the second quarter filing period.

Republican challenger Michael LaPaglia trailed far behind in the money race, with slightly more than $17,000 during the election cycle, including $10,000 during the second quarter. He had $5,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period.

TREASURER: Republican candidate for North Carolina treasurer Dale Folwell had raised more than $430,000 during this election cycle through June, including almost $165,000 during the second quarter. Records show he had almost $420,000 on hand headed into the final months before the November election.

Dan Blue III, a Democrat, raised more than $285,000 during the election cycle, with $129,000 on hand at the end of June.

AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER: Republican incumbent Steve Troxler raised more than $210,000 during the election cycle and had more than $60,000 on hand after June. His opponent, Democrat Walter Smith, raised $27,000 and had $19,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period.

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AUDITOR: Incumbent Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat, raised $161,000 during the election cycle and had almost $50,000 on hand at the end of June. Her opponent, Republican Chuck Stuber, raised more than $31,000 and had $12,000 on hand at the end of the second quarter.

COMMISSIONER OF LABOR: Republican Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry raised more than $78,000 in her race against Democrat Charles Meeker. Records show Berry spent more than $6,000 during the second quarter and had more than $60,000 on hand headed into November’s election. Meeker raised $272,000 during the election cycle and spent $77,000 in the second quarter, with $108,000 on hand at the end of June.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER: Incumbent Wayne Goodwin, a Democrat, raised almost $874,000 in his re-election bid against Republican Mike Causey. Records show Goodwin spent $57,000 during the second quarter and had $739,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period. Causey raised almost $34,000 and had $15,300 on hand at the end of June.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: Incumbent Democrat June Atkinson raised more than $87,000 during this election cycle and spent $18,600 during the second quarter. She had $64,000 on hand at the end of June. Her opponent, Republican Mark Johnson, raised $208,000 and spent $64,600 in the second quarter. He had almost $130,000 on hand at the end of June.

Michael Gebelein

Michael Gebelein was an investigative reporter with Carolina Public Press. To contact Carolina Public Press, email info@carolinapublicpress.org or call 828-774-5290.

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