Politics & Government

Charlotte donors huge for McCrory

Charlotte, a national banking center, has been sending a lot of checks to Republican Pat McCrory.

The Charlotte mayor has raised more than $1.2 million from Queen City donors. That's 55 percent of all the money he has raised for his gubernatorial campaign, according to an Observer analysis.

Democrat Bev Perdue, who has raised twice as much as McCrory this year, has drawn from a wider base. But while she raised money in Charlotte, it's a fraction of McCrory's take.

“It tells me there is a lot of money in Charlotte,” said Carmine Scavo, a political scientist at East Carolina University. “You've got to go where the deep pockets are.”

McCrory, who grew up in Guilford County, is well connected in his adopted home. Since first elected to the City Council in 1989, the seven-term mayor has cultivated a bipartisan network of donors that includes developers, bankers and corporate CEOs.

He raised more than $55,000 from employees at his former employer, Duke Energy. Former Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson, former Charlotte Chamber Chairman Tom Nelson and developer Johnny Harris are among his donors.

“I don't think we ever thought it was going to be easy to raise money for her (in Charlotte) once he got in the race,” said Jill Dinwiddie of Charlotte, a member of Perdue's statewide fundraising team. “It's going to be tight to raise money here, but she has a very strong base of support from women … and they're going to pull out all the stops for her.”

Perdue spokesman David Kochman said she has raised money from 95 of the state's 100 counties.

“It's becoming clear that Bev Perdue has much stronger support from throughout North Carolina,” he said.

Perdue has raised around $200,000 from Charlotteans this year, though that doesn't include what she took in last year, when her campaign raised a total of more than $6 million. She raised more than McCrory almost everyplace else.

“There's a lot of money in Charlotte, but McCrory has to establish himself as a statewide candidate,” said Pat Sellers, a Davidson College political scientist. “One way to do that is to raise money all over.”

Charlotte was a financial base for the last mayor to run for governor. But over the same period, Republican Richard Vinroot had raised just 38 percent of his money from Charlotte.

“It's important to raise it all over the state,” Vinroot said. “The truth is, this is a much harder time to raise money than when I raised it.”

“Our base is expanding rapidly,” said McCrory spokeswoman Amy Auth. She said the campaign raised more in cities such as Greenville and Rocky Mount during the second quarter.

But Perdue still outraised McCrory in those places.

“Pat McCrory still has some name-recognition building (to do) here,” said Scavo, at ECU in Greenville, N.C. “He's got to open up to those people. And I'm sure once he does, the funds will be forthcoming.”

Charlotte, a national banking center, has been sending a lot of checks to Republican Pat McCrory.

The Charlotte mayor has raised more than $1.2 million from Queen City donors. That's 55 percent of all the money he has raised for his gubernatorial campaign, according to an Observer analysis.

Democrat Bev Perdue, who has raised twice as much as McCrory this year, has drawn from a wider base. But while she raised money in Charlotte, it's a fraction of McCrory's take.

“It tells me there is a lot of money in Charlotte,” said Carmine Scavo, a political scientist at East Carolina University. “You've got to go where the deep pockets are.”

McCrory, who grew up in Guilford County, is well connected in his adopted home. Since first elected to the City Council in 1989, the seven-term mayor has cultivated a bipartisan network of donors that includes developers, bankers and corporate CEOs.

He raised more than $55,000 from employees at his former employer, Duke Energy. Former Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson, former Charlotte Chamber Chairman Tom Nelson and developer Johnny Harris are among his donors.

“I don't think we ever thought it was going to be easy to raise money for her (in Charlotte) once he got in the race,” said Jill Dinwiddie of Charlotte, a member of Perdue's statewide fundraising team. “It's going to be tight to raise money here, but she has a very strong base of support from women … and they're going to pull out all the stops for her.”

Perdue spokesman David Kochman said she has raised money from 95 of the state's 100 counties.

“It's becoming clear that Bev Perdue has much stronger support from throughout North Carolina,” he said.

Perdue has raised around $200,000 from Charlotteans this year, though that doesn't include what she took in last year, when her campaign raised a total of more than $6 million. She raised more than McCrory almost everyplace else.

“There's a lot of money in Charlotte, but McCrory has to establish himself as a statewide candidate,” said Pat Sellers, a Davidson College political scientist. “One way to do that is to raise money all over.”

Charlotte was a financial base for the last mayor to run for governor. But over the same period, Republican Richard Vinroot had raised just 38 percent of his money from Charlotte.

“It's important to raise it all over the state,” Vinroot said. “The truth is, this is a much harder time to raise money than when I raised it.”

“Our base is expanding rapidly,” said McCrory spokeswoman Amy Auth. She said the campaign raised more in cities such as Greenville and Rocky Mount during the second quarter.

But Perdue still outraised McCrory in those places.

“Pat McCrory still has some name-recognition building (to do) here,” said Scavo, at ECU in Greenville, N.C. “He's got to open up to those people. And I'm sure once he does, the funds will be forthcoming.”

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