North Carolina GOP senate candidate Pat McCrory raises $1.2M

RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Pat McCrory on Thursday announced he raised more than $1.2 million in his first fundraising period since he entered the primary in April.

The former Charlotte mayor who lost a pair of general election gubernatorial bids in 2008 and 2016 but won in 2012 got support from 8,000 donors between April and June, according to his campaign.

The veteran politician is marketing himself as a “Washington outsider” and hopes his track record in North Carolina politics will set him apart from his two main GOP opponents, who have both served in Congress.

“We’ve proven that we are the only candidate with the record of accomplishments and the ability to marshal the resources necessary to win a statewide primary and general election against the well-funded far-left,” McCrory said in a news release. “I’m especially encouraged by the deep level of small-dollar donations we received.”

McCrory’s campaign did not release information on the average donation size, but said about 94% of contribution were $250 or less. More data will be shared publicly when McCrory files his fundraising numbers with the Federal Election Commission by July 15. McCrory’s two main competitors seeking the Republican nomination, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd and former Rep. Mark Walker, have not yet said how much they raised over the three-month period.

The top two Democrats in the race, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and state Sen. Jeff Jackson, announced earlier this week that they raised about $1.3 million and $700,000, respectively, between April and June.

Former President Donald Trump shook up the Republican primary last month when he endorsed Budd at the state party’s annual convention after Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, announced she would not seek the seat Republican Sen. Richard Burr is vacating in 2022. The former president took aim at McCrory while while the former governor was seated in the very same room.

“You can’t pick people that have already lost two races,” Trump told the crowd during his speech. “You can’t pick people that have already lost two races and they do not stand for our values.”

McCrory replied in a tweet, “The audience reaction was telling: the president got bad advice in picking a Washington, D.C. insider.”

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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.