Runoff money hard to come by

Staff writersMay 20, 2010 

Both Democratic Senate candidates Cal Cunningham and Elaine Marshall have had to scrap to find enough money to finance their campaigns.

They've appealed to family, friends, law partners and even entertainers such as Barbra Streisand and Clay Aiken.

Although Marshall had a two-month head start, Cunningham has significantly passed her in the money contest. He has pulled in $737,499, compared with her $514,541, as of April 14, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

This is a modest sum compared with the $8.4 million raised by Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the man they would like to replace.

Here's a look at how Cunningham and Marshall have raised their campaign kitties as they prepare for the June 22 runoff, according to an analysis of campaign records by The News & Observer.

There's no place like home

Senate candidates often raise money nationally, but Cunningham andMarshall raised most of theirs in North Carolina. Here are their five top states:


North Carolina - $489,018 (77 percent)

Washington, D.C. - $34,603 (5 percent)

California - $22,116 (3 percent)

New Jersey - $14,600 (2 percent)

Hawaii - $10,250 (2 percent)


North Carolina - $309,256 (96 percent)

Ohio - $5,000 (1 percent)

Washington, D.C. - $4,250 (1 percent)

California - $2,900 (1 percent)

South Carolina - $1,000 (less than 1 percent)

Regional split

Cunningham, who lives in Lexington and practices law in Winston-Salem, is strongest in the west, while Marshall, the secretary of state who has homes in Raleigh and Lillington, does better in the east. Here are their five top cities for donations:


Lexington - $70,707

Winston-Salem - $66,014

Raleigh - $65,100

Chapel Hill - $54,472

Durham - $39,300


Raleigh - $72,370

Charlotte - $27,700

Chapel Hill - $16,600

Cary - $16,550

Asheville - $13,110

All in the family

Elaine Marshall has lent her campaign $71,500. Cunningham has not lent any money to his campaign, but family members have donated at least $23,000 to his political committee.

Legal eagles

Both candidates are lawyers and receive considerable backing from lawyers. Marshall has strong backing from trial lawyers, receiving at least $38,325 from dozens of them.

Cunningham has received $19,650 from 38 lawyers at Kilpatrick Stockton, the firm where he is a partner. The 500-member law firm has represented such high-profile clients as Adidas, Blue Cross Blue Shield, British Petroleum, Google, Pepsi, Fox, Krispy Kreme andWachovia.


Cunningham has a somewhat star-studded donor list. He has received donations from singers Barbra Streisand and Clay Aiken; Alan Warner, president of Warner Brothers; and Dayna Bochco, a TV producer whose husband produced such series as "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law."

Donors big and little

Marshall has received more of her money in small donations. Forty-three percent of her campaign donations came from people who gave less than $1,000, compared with 26 percent for Cunningham. Cunningham has tended to raise more from larger donations. Eighteen percent of Cunningham's donations came from individuals who gave $4,000 or more, compared with 4 percent for Marshall.

These figures only apply to individual contributions, not political action committees.


A handful of Raleigh lobbyists whom Marshall regulates as secretary of state gave a total of $2,000 to her campaign. They are Coleen Kochanek, Frank Gray, Ed Turlington and Charles Wilkins.

Washington weighs in

Cunningham, who has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has received $36,000 in contributions from political committees connected to Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Carl Levin of Michigan, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Mark Warner of Virginia and Dick Durbin of Illinois. or 919-829-4532

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