Woolard is apparent front-runner in race

Published 1:50 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

Staff Writer

Just a few days before the primary election, Ashley Woolard of Washington remains the fundraising front-runner in the 1st Congressional District Republican primary.
Woolard is one of four candidates vying for the GOP’s nomination to run against U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., of Wilson.
The other three candidates are Jerry Grimes of Goldsboro, John Carter of Wilson and James Gordon Miller of Kill Devil Hills.
Woolard has raised more than $45,000 for his campaign to date, according to finance reports available online.
Butterfield had in excess of $147,000 cash on hand at the close of the reporting period. Butterfield listed $63,248.38 in net operating expenditures for the election cycle to date.
Butterfield, initially elected in 2004, represents a heavily black and Democratic district that doesn’t favor Republicans, but Woolard’s camp remains hopeful it can wage a serious fight against the incumbent.
Woolard said the money he’s been able to generate constitutes a fundraising record for a Republican running in District 1. That couldn’t be verified independently Thursday.
“We’ve had a lot of support financially from the citizens here in the east, where all of our money came from,” he told the Washington Daily News in an interview this week.
Woolard’s campaign listed total operating expenditures of $29,458.05 for this election cycle, and it reported $15,621.15 cash on hand as of March 31.
The campaign’s expenditures included ads in the Daily News and the Daily Reflector of Greenville, as well as messages plastered on billboards around the district.
“What we’ve done is spend money effectively” to benefit the campaign before the primary and general elections, Woolard commented.
Woolard’s nearest fundraising competitor is Grimes, who reported total receipts of $7,521.01 for the cycle so far.
Grimes had $82 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.
This week, Grimes said conventional wisdom has it that Woolard is in the lead. In part, he cited Woolard’s fundraising advantage.
Carter was in Chocowinity last week for a meeting of the Down East Republican Club.
In remarks to the club, Carter renewed his call to reduce or eliminate the capital-gains tax.
He said all congressional spending bills should be voted on separately, and he added that he would vote against any legislation that raised the tax burden in any way.
“I’m a real man that has been affected by this economy the way so many others have been,” Carter told the club.
In attendance at that same meeting, Woolard said his campaign is “going to retire G.K. Butterfield.”
He added, “G.K. Butterfield is worried about Ashley Woolard.”
Miller couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
In a Feb. 26 e-mail to the Daily News, Miller had this to say: “I am a Paramedic and I do not make a lot of money. I am depending heavily upon the media to report my views and my faith in people to educate themselves before they make a decision. I know that I am going to lose to Ashley, but the important thing is that people at least have an opportunity to vote for a candidate who, like themselves, are middle class and not socially connected.”