Democratic US Senate candidate Cheri Beasley raises $1.3M

RALEIGH, N.C. — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley of North Carolina raised nearly $1.3 million in little more than two months since she entered the race in April, her campaign announced on Wednesday.

The former state Supreme Court chief justice and first black woman to hold that title in North Carolina is gearing up to for an expensive bid to fill the seat Republican Sen. Richard Burr is vacating in 2022.

The pickup opportunity for Democrats could sway the balance of the Senate and determine whether Republicans can more easily stifle President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

Beasley wrote Wednesday on Twitter that she appreciates the contributions she got from residents in 93 of the state’s 100 counties through the end of June.

“I’m so grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm we’re seeing across NC,” she wrote. “For too long, our senators have been more focused on their own self interest than serving our state. It’s past time for that to change. And together we’ll make that happen.”

Her top Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, brought in more than $700,000 from April 1 to June 30, according to a Tuesday announcement from his campaign. The 11,000 individual donors stretched across all 100 counties and provided a median contribution of about $15.

“We’re seeing real momentum behind the movement we’re building, and we’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from folks across the state,” Jackson said in a news release.

Jackson received a similar amount of money as Beasley within the first two months of his campaign, when he brought in almost $1.3 million between the time he announced his candidacy in late January and the end of March. He substantially outraised his Democratic opponents at the time, as well as former GOP U.S. Rep. Mark Walker.

Former State Sen. Erica Smith, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Senate nomination in 2020, has not yet announced her latest fundraising total.

All candidates have until July 15 to report their April to June fundraising numbers to the Federal Election Commission.

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Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.