This post has been updated to include spending and contributions made after the third-quarter filing period.
More than $1 million has been spent in the hotly contested state Senate race between former Raleigh mayor Tom Bradshaw and businessman John Alexander.
According to campaign finance reports released last week, Democrat Bradshaw has raised $1.006 million – much of it from the $645,000 he’s loaned his campaign.
Alexander, the Republican, got a late start, entering the race this summer when Rep. Jim Fulghum withdrew as his health declined. Alexander has raised $266,537, of which $20,500 is a personal loan he’s made to the campaign. He loaned his campaign an additional $75,000 after the reporting period ended.
Subtract the money spent by the candidates, political parties and outside groups, and the two candidates are a bit closer. Bradshaw has garnered $176,383 in individual contributions, while Alexander has received $75,875.50 in that category.
Both candidates have gotten big assists from state party organizations, which have been behind many of the campaign mailers. The N.C. Republican Party gave $235,237 to Alexander and spent an additional $178,503 on mailers that weren’t authorized by the candidate. The state Democrats spent $169,734 on Bradshaw.
For the Republicans, $17,000 of the direct contribution was an in-kind donation of “research,” likely for a recent mailer that said Bradshaw raised Raleigh property taxes in 1972 and raised hotel taxes as mayor of Bald Head Island in 1994.
Those details illustrate Republicans’ claim that Bradshaw’s record involves “40 years of raising taxes.” The same mailer also touts Alexander as someone who “will listen to and work with Democrats” because his wife is a Democrat “who will hold him accountable.”
Bradshaw’s finance reports show no research expenses, likely because Alexander hasn’t previously held elected office. The Democratic Party’s mailers criticizing him – the party has spent $169,234 on direct mail for Bradshaw – tie Alexander to actions of the Republican-dominated legislature.
One mailer says “John Alexander’s Tea Party cuts” are “bad for our kids.” Alexander hasn’t cut funding because he hasn’t served in the legislature.