Under the Dome

NC Republicans and Democrats are more flush than usual – here’s how they compare

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest presides in the Senate chamber at the NC General Assembly in 2016.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest presides in the Senate chamber at the NC General Assembly in 2016. cseward@newsobserver.com

The North Carolina Republican Party raised more money than the NC Democratic Party during the second half of 2017, but the Democrats began 2018 with more than twice as much money in the bank as Republicans.

The NCGOP’s campaign finance report shows it raised $2,076,315 during the six-month period; the NC Democratic Party announced Monday that it raised $1,404,540 – substantially higher than the party’s numbers at the same point in previous election cycles.

The NC Democratic Party is reporting $2,400,840 on hand as of Jan. 1, while the NCGOP reports $981,606 on hand as of Jan. 1. The Democrats noted in a press release that they're in a far better financial position than they were at the beginning of past midterm election years: At this point in 2014 they had just $382,934 in the bank, and they had $276,155 at this point in 2010. But the NCGOP has also improved its financial position over past midterm cycles, having posted $345,060 cash on hand to start 2014 and $147,959 at the beginning of 2010.

“This is the best position our party has ever been in heading into a midterm election,” state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a news release. “With Democrats and Independents alike frustrated by Republican attempts to rig the system, terrific Democratic candidates, and now this record-shattering financial support, North Carolina Democrats are ready to break the Republican majority.”

NCGOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said Sunday that fundraising for individual candidates is boosting his party as 2018 begins. “When you add NCGOP and our candidates to NCDP and their candidates, I believe we are in a slightly stronger position than them for this year,” he said. “However it is a challenging year for us and it’s critical we keep working hard to put all the resources in place.”

The full campaign finance report from the Democratic Party wasn't posted to the state elections board website as of late Sunday, but the NCGOP’s full report is posted and shows one donor responsible for nearly half of its fundraising total.

Durham businessman Greg Lindberg of the investment firm Eli Global made a total of $890,000 in contributions to the party in 2017. Lindberg also donated $1 million last year to a super PAC called Truth & Prosperity that supports the candidacy of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who's expected to run for governor in 2020, and $1.4 million to the Republican Council of State Committee chaired by Forest.

Other top donors to the NCGOP included the campaign of House Speaker Tim Moore ($82,000), as well as businessmen Bob Luddy, Art Pope and Kenneth Kennedy, who each gave $50,000.

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter