by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
The May 17th primary is just around the corner. For the media and those active in this year’s primary election, these next few days will be spent reviewing copious amounts of information on district polling data and voter turnout statistics. This leaves an essential component of all elections to the wayside: the recently released campaign finance reports. State Legislative campaigns were required to submit their reports by May 10th to the North Carolina State Board of Elections covering the money they raised and spent from January 1st to April 30th.
The Civitas Center for Public Integrity at the John Locke Foundation has pulled all the available data for the North Carolina House and Senate first-quarter reports, compiling them into one succinct file alongside each district’s Civitas Partisan Index (CPI) score.
We have created an additional file for those who wish to move the data around by removing the merged columns for the CPI. Some candidates have yet to submit their first-quarter reports to the State Board of Elections, and we will be updating the tables as new information is submitted to the state.
So, what are the top lines for the General Assembly?
Party Leadership Numbers
The leadership of both the majority and minority parties tend to be the top performers in their party’s fundraising. This appears to be the case for Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, as they have raised far more money than anyone in their respective chambers both this quarter and for the election cycle.
House Minority Leader Robert Reives has led House Democrats in funds raised this year by a narrow margin, with political newcomers Terry Johnson and Jonah Garson only $2,000 and $3,000 behind him. Reives is second only to Rep. Deb Butler among Democrats for this quarter’s fundraising, with her having raised nearly $111k.
Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue’s numbers were an outlier when compared to other leadership, coming behind eight other democratic senators in quarterly fundraising. His funds for this election cycle leave him trailing other senate Democratic candidates as only the 13th highest of the 36 candidates currently reporting.
Top 10 Fundraisers for the State House and Senate
While both Berger and Moore have a significant amount more than their fellow legislators, several members have already raised impressive money this quarter. Here are the respective fundraising leaders for each chamber.
North Carolina is an important target for both parties in every election cycle. A significant amount of money will likely continue to pour into this year’s elections as we move out of the primaries and into the general election.