Senate leader Phil Berger has raised more campaign money than any other state legislator in the first half of 2015.
Berger’s campaign finance report, released Monday, shows he raised $629,000 from January through June. He had $627,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period June 30.
Berger’s numbers are higher than those of House Speaker Tim Moore, who raised $422,000 in the same period and had about $505,000 on hand June 30.
Legislative leaders typically direct a big chunk of their campaign money to their party’s caucus, which helps recruit candidates and fund campaigns in hotly contested districts.
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The filing deadline for campaign reports was Friday, but many of them only became available online on Monday. Here are other highlights from reports posted Monday:
Council of State incumbents vary: Several Democrats in statewide positions are entering the 2016 election cycle with sizable campaign accounts.
State Treasurer Janet Cowell leads the pack with $180,096 raised in six months and $221,359. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took in $77,697 so far this year and has $360,207 on hand.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall raised $42,449 in six months and has $35,379 on hand. State Auditor Beth Wood took in $23,265 for a total of $27,115 on hand.
The campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has been less active this year. He received just $1,000 during the period and has $6,650 on hand.
Does that indicate that he might step down in 2016? Not necessarily – Dome notes that Troxler didn’t step up his 2012 fundraising until the year of the election.
N.C. Democratic Party replenishes bank account: The state Democratic Party ended 2014 with just $42,731 on hand, and incoming chairwoman Patsy Keever said fundraising would be a key priority. The party raised $632,281 in the first half of the year and has $368,492 on hand.
That puts it ahead of the N.C. Republican Party, which brought in $574,054 during the same period and has $187,060 on hand.
It doesn’t pay to switch: Rep. Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk started the year by leaving the Democratic Party and becoming the legislature’s only unaffiliated member, joining the Republican caucus.
Since then, Tine has received just $735 in donations, and he gave back $550 to two unhappy Democratic contributors. One of them is former News & Observer publisher Frank Daniels, who got $500 as a “refunded contribution due to party change,” according to the campaign report.