Dan Bishop has edge in 9th District GOP money. But a rival has bigger outside support.

Dan Bishop calls liberals clowns in his first TV campaign ad ahead of 2019 primary

This is Dan Bishop's campaign advertisement for NC's 9th district congressional seat.
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This is Dan Bishop's campaign advertisement for NC's 9th district congressional seat.

With a big loan to his own campaign, state Sen. Dan Bishop had six times as much money at the end of March as any other Republican in North Carolina’s crowded 9th Congressional District primary.

The Charlotte Republican had $381,000 on hand at the end of the first quarter, according to a new report filed with the Federal Election Commission. That included a $250,000 loan to the campaign.

“That strong start and our ongoing robust fundraising efforts are getting our message to the voters: Bishop will support President Trump’s agenda,” Bishop’s campaign manager, Matt Judge, said in a statement.

New reports also showed:

Matthew Ridenhour, a former Mecklenburg County commissioner, reported just over $62,000 on hand.

Real estate broker Leigh Brown of Cabarrus County had about $38,000 on hand. But she tweeted Tuesday that she’s raised nearly $198,000, most of it since the March 31 filing deadline.

She’s also getting an assist from the National Realtors Association political action committee. The group is spending more than $674,000 on ads at three Charlotte TV stations on Brown’s behalf, according to reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Stony Rushing, a Union County commissioner, reported nearly $21,000 on hand.

And Stevie Rivenbark Hull of Fayetteville had $7,000 in her account.

No reports were available for five other Republicans in the May 14 primary: Chris Anglin of Raleigh, Kathie Day of Cornelius, Gary Dunn of Matthews, Fern Shubert of Union County and Albert Wylie of Carteret County.

Charlotte Democrat Dan McCready, with no primary opponent, has a war chest of almost $1.5 million. Like Bishop, he loaned his campaign $250,000.

Bishop’s money helped him become the first Republican on the air. He hit cable TV last week with ads that ridicule Democrats and portray him as a solid ally of President Donald Trump.

Other Republicans have downplayed Bishop’s advantage.

Rushing has said, “I’m glad he’s spending his money on something.” He has said he’s using mail and social media to reach voters.

So is Ridenhour. He has said TV is “just not part of our strategy.”

Brown is launching her first mailing this week. In it she calls herself “The Progressive Left’s Worst Nightmare.”

Brown also has said she’s suing the Federal Election Commission for forcing her to remove radio ads for her real estate business during her campaign. The ads ran regularly on Charlotte’s WBT for 13 years. The FEC ordered them to stop as of Sunday.