Roy Cooper continues to out-raise Gov. Pat McCrory

Democrat Roy Cooper has continued to out-raise Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, pulling in money at what his campaign calls a historic pace.

Cooper, the attorney general, raised $5.1 million in the second quarter, his campaign announced Tuesday. McCrory raised $3.2 million.

That brings Cooper’s total to $12.7 million, more than any gubernatorial candidate has raised at a similar point, according to the campaign. McCrory has raised about $8.7 million.

Cooper enters the final months of the campaign with $9.4 million available, to McCrory’s $6.3 million.

“Today’s fundraising numbers show a strong grassroots enthusiasm for Roy Cooper for governor,” spokesman Jamal Little said in a statement. “An unprecedented number of North Carolinians are fed up with Gov. McCrory’s partisan political agenda, and voters are ready for a leader who will put the interests of all North Carolinians first.”

The McCrory campaign shot back: “Now we know why Roy Cooper hasn’t been doing his job as attorney general,” campaign manager Russell Peck said. “While Gov. McCrory is lowering unemployment and providing record pay raises for teachers, Roy Cooper is holed up in an office somewhere raising millions from out-of-state special interests.”

The candidates aren’t the only ones spending money.

Last week the Center for Public Integrity reported that 11 outside groups including the Republican Governors Association and the North Carolina Environmental Partnership have spent $3.7 million on TV ads in the race.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill