Bradshaw hits Senate campaign trail with cash

07/13/2014 11:53 AM

08/05/2014 6:51 PM

Former Raleigh mayor and ex-state transportation secretary Tom Bradshaw has been lying low in his run for state Senate. But now he’s hitting the trail with a campaign fund meant to raise his profile.

Bradshaw is the Democratic nominee for District 15, which is currently held by 10-year veteran Sen. Neal Hunt, Republican who wants to retire this year. Republican State Rep. Jim Fulghum of Raleigh was running for Hunt’s seat but dropped out earlier this month to be treated for recently diagnosed cancer.

The Republican Party hasn’t named a replacement candidate yet for the November election. The seat had been considered safely Republican, because of Hunt’s longtime lock in a fairly conservative part of Wake County.

Amid the uncertainty, Bradshaw is stepping up his efforts, although he says he planned all along on a delayed major launch to allow him to meet with people in the district.

On Friday he announced that he has raised $170,000 in the first two quarters of the year, and has nearly $138,000 on hand. That includes $130,000 in loans to his own campaign.

“I made the loans to demonstrate that I am serious about this race – and serious about bringing a new tone and new direction to the state,” Bradshaw said in a news release.

He also announced his campaign team: Ryan Clark, campaign manager, who worked with Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s gubernatorial campaign; Maggie Barlow, treasurer; and Gary Pearce, a well-known Democratic consultant.

Contributions to Bradshaw’s campaign have come from a number of prominent Democratic supporters in Raleigh. He has played a big role in the city’s growth over the years, beginning when he became the youngest mayor in history in 1971.

Bradshaw served as transportation secretary under Gov. Jim Hunt and was executive director of the state Ports Authority for a short time under Gov. Bev Perdue. He recently retired from a career in investment banking.

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