Incumbents lead in fundraising efforts

Published 1:37 pm Thursday, April 29, 2010

Staff Writers

Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in an occasional series on campaign finance.
Beaufort County’s incumbent Democratic legislators lead the fundraising race against their Republican challengers with just over six months to go before the general election, according to campaign-finance reports filed this week with the State Board of Elections in Raleigh.
Incumbent state Sen. Marc Basnight, D-Dare, of Manteo has far outstripped his Republican challenger Hood Richardson of Washington, in terms of fundraising.
Basnight has exceeded Richardson in funds raised by more than 500 to 1, according to campaign-finance reports.
As of April 17, Basnight had $725,470.20 cash on hand, while Richardson had $1,282.71, according to the reports.
Basnight had $861,597.16 in total receipts so far this election cycle.
It has been reported that Basnight’s campaign committee listed expenditures of more than $1.7 million in 2008, when the candidate was running unopposed.
Of that amount, the senator gave more than $1.325 million to the North Carolina Democratic Party, campaign-finance reports showed.
On Wednesday, Richardson was asked how he planned to narrow the fundraising gap between him and his 13-term opponent.
“I don’t have to match him dollar for dollar,” the Beaufort County commissioner replied.
Richardson said $100,000 will “do a very fine campaign,” indicating that he hopes to raise this money from individuals.
Of Basnight, he said, “I’m going to use his reputation for fundraising (against) him.”
In the other chamber, incumbent state Rep. Arthur Williams, D-Beaufort, of Washington has nearly a 50-to-1 fundraising lead over his Republican challenger, Bill Cook of Cypress Landing.
The two men are locked in a race to represent Beaufort County and northeastern Pitt County in the state House of Representatives.
As of April 17, Williams had $124,909.74 cash on hand as compared to $2,665.57 for Cook, according to the reports.
As for Basnight, he reported $309,827.60 cash on hand as of Jan. 1 and $439,295.95 in contributions from individuals from Jan. 1 to April 17.
Basnight raised $69,500 from other groups such as political action committees, or PACs, during the same period, according to his financial report.
Richardson’s report showed $400 cash on hand as of Jan. 1, and $975 in contributions from individuals from Jan. 1 to April 17. Richardson’s report showed no contributions from PACs.
Basnight raised $1,400 from Beaufort County residents during the period covered by the report. Those contributing to his campaign included former Aurora Mayor Grace Bonner; retired educator Mary Alice B. Chapin of Washington, widow of former state Rep. Howard B. Chapin; and retired educator Carolyn W. Harding, a Democrat and former Beaufort County commissioner.
His other contributors include former Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., and wife, Carolyn, who gave $4,000 each to Basnight’s campaign; Jim Goodnight, chief executive officer of SAS Institute in Cary and his wife, Ann, who gave $4,000 each to Basnight’s campaign; Richard A. Baddour, athletic director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who gave $400 to Basnight, according to the campaign report.
Contributors to Richardson’s campaign include Greenville lawyer and former GOP state Rep. Edwin “Sandy” Hardy.
Williams reported $100,596 cash on hand as of Jan. 1 and $35,775 in contributions from individuals from Jan. 1 to April 17, and $3,000 from political committees during the same period.
Cook reported $230.50 cash on hand as of Jan. 1 and $2,847.16 in contributions from individuals from Jan. 1 to April 17. Cook reported receiving no contributions from PACs.
Among Cook’s contributors were Larry R. Britt of Chocowinity, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, and Republican Beaufort County Commissioner Al Klemm.
Cook couldn’t be reached for comment immediately on Wednesday.
For more updates on campaign finance, see future editions.