McCrory, Cooper continue money haul in governor’s race

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) speaks at his campaign announcement event in December.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) speaks at his campaign announcement event in December.

RALEIGH Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign announced Wednesday that the governor raised $2.6 million since July, doubling his fundraising from the first half of 2015 but still placing behind N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who will report $2.9 million raised in the same period. Cooper’s campaign will report $4.9 million cash on hand Dec. 31, while McCrory will show $4.1 million on hand.

Friday marks the reporting deadline for candidates for state offices, when they are required to report donations for the second half of 2015. McCrory will face former state legislator Robert Brawley and former teacher and minister Charles Kenneth Moss in the March 15 Republican primary. Cooper will face Durham’s Ken Spaulding in the Democratic primary.

“Governor McCrory is the No. 1 target of the Washington, D.C. Democratic establishment, radical special interest groups, trial lawyers and out-of-state labor unions in 2016,” said Russell Peck, campaign manager for McCrory. “While the other side has shown they will say, do and spend whatever it takes to try and take down the governor, our growing network of supporters will ensure that we’ll have the resources to win in November and continue to rebuild North Carolina.”

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper (D)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper (D)

For the first half of the year – and before he officially announced he would run – Cooper posted $2.16 million raised and $3 million cash.  McCrory’s $2.6 million haul means he virtually doubled his fundraising in the last half of the year; his campaign reported $1.3 million raised from January through June of 2015.

Cooper, meanwhile, continued an impressive money haul. His campaign echoed Peck’s assessment, calling McCrory “the most vulnerable incumbent governor in the country.”

Last week, the McCrory campaign released an internal poll showing a 13-point lead over Cooper. But polling released by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling has consistently shown the race within the margin of error of the polls, the one exception being a slight lead for McCrory in December.