U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, the newest Charlottean in the 12th Congressional District’s Democratic primary, has a huge financial edge over her nearest rival heading into the June 7 election.
Adams, who has spent most of her life in Greensboro, moved to a Fourth Ward townhouse last week, campaign manager Sam Spencer said. He officially notified the elections board Monday.
Some of Adams’ six Democratic opponents have made an issue of her residency since lawmakers redrew the 12th District in February. The district that had run from Charlotte to Greensboro is now entirely within Mecklenburg County.
The first-term incumbent has about $347,000 on hand after raising $507,000 through March 31. According to new finance reports, nearly two of every three dollars she raised came from political action committees representing corporations, trade associations and interest groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.
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Her donors include Bishop George Battle Jr., LGBT activist Scott Bishop, community activist Jill Dinwiddie and businessman Sandy Welton. She’s also backed by Emily’s List, a group that helps Democratic women who support abortion rights.
“The causes Alma Adams has devoted her career to – raising the minimum wage, strengthening public education, and creating jobs across the Piedmont – have earned our campaign broad support,” Spencer said. “(S)he’s proud to call Charlotte home.”
State Rep. Tricia Cotham reported $42,000 on hand after loaning her campaign $20,000. She downplays Adams’ advantage.
“The truth is that Alma has had over a year and a half of fundraising,” Cotham said, “and most of her money comes from PACs. I had eight days. I’m proud of what I raised in eight days … Outsiders are helping (Adams) in Mecklenburg County, where she’s never lived.”
Cotham’s donors include former ambassador Mark Erwin, two Democratic House colleagues and her parents, including Mecklenburg Commissioner Pat Cotham.
Former state Sen. Malcolm Graham had $20,000 on hand. But he has a half-dozen fundraisers scheduled in coming weeks, including one next week in Charlotte Tuesday night whose hosts include former mayors Harvey Gantt and Dan Clodfelter and former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl Jr. Next week he’ll attend a Charleston fundraiser hosted by former Mayor Joe Riley.
“We’re not going to try to out-raise anybody,” he said. “We’re going to run on the issues.”
Democratic candidate Gardenia Henley of Winston-Salem reported $4,000 on hand. No reports were available for three other Democrats: state Reps. Carla Cunningham and Rodney Moore of Charlotte and Rick Miller of Guilford County.
In the Republican primary, Ryan Duffie of Charlotte had just over $1,000 on hand. Leon Threatt of Mecklenburg had $500. No report was available for Paul Wright of Wayne County.
9th District fundraising
Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger had $89,000 in his campaign account at the end of March, more than any 9th Congressional District opponent.
But Todd Johnson, a former Union County commissioner, had $35,000 and Charlotte pastor Mark Harris had nearly $17,000, according to new reports.
Pittenger, a wealthy real estate investor, essentially self-funded his first campaign in 2012. Tuesday, former N.C. Gov. Jim Martin emailed an invitation to a Pittenger fundraiser this month, saying, “The choice for us is very clear.”
Joining Harris to raise money this week, and headline rallies in Matthews and Monroe, will be former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Jim Morrill