Under the Dome

Primary shapes up in Jones’ 3rd Congressional District

The field in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary is taking shape, giving 10-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter Jones something to think about.

The district generally stretches along the coast from the Outer Banks to Wilmington.

Raising money for the 2016 election is Taylor Griffin, who lost to Jones in the 2014 primary election by a 51-45 percent margin. Griffin is an Eastern North Carolina native and former aide to Sen. Jesse Helms and later to President George W. Bush. He founded a public interest consulting firm, before returning to this state to live in New Bern.

Phil Law is making his first run for office. He joined the Marines after graduating from high school in 1999, saw combat in Iraq, and was stationed in Kosovo and Liberia. He lives in Jacksonville, where he works for a Defense contractor as a computer technician site supervisor.

Here’s what the fundraising picture looks like:

▪ Jones has raised about $200,000, with about $146,000 in individual contributions and $54,500 from political action committees. North Carolina donors have contributed $87,000 and the rest is from out of state.

Jones has been an independent character over the years, sometimes at odds with the House leadership and criticized from both sides.

▪ Support for Griffin is a different picture. He has raised about $117,000, all but $12,000 of it from individuals, and just $19,000 of it from North Carolina. More than $35,000 has come from donors living in New York.

The Daily Haymaker – a North Carolina political blog protecting the right flank of conservatism – recently tracked some of Griffin’s more well-heeled donors to hedge-fund managers and others on Wall Street.

Last time around, Griffin had to fight the perception that he was an establishment candidate, and the Haymaker’s report promises that will be an issue again. There is almost nothing The Haymaker hates more than those it considers RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

▪ Law has raised $94,000, with $71,000 coming from individuals and nothing from PACs. He has received $25,000 from North Carolina donors and $19,000 from South Carolina.