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GOP candidates in 13th District spent money in 20 states

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — From the East to the West, Republican candidates in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District primary race spent campaign money with businesses in nearly 20 states.

The 13th District primary campaign ended more than a month ago, but the latest finance reports for the race were due last week. The reports show Republican candidates spent money with businesses in Washington, D.C. and 17 states — identical to the total number of GOP candidates.

Some of the states with businesses that received money from 13th District candidates include: California, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Expenses in the latest reports start on May 19 and end on June 30. Reports were due on Thursday.

Although the top spenders paid out-of-state firms significant sums of money for political consulting, finance reports show candidates from Rowan County — Jason Walser and Harry Warren — kept a majority of their money in North Carolina. Local candidate Kathy Feather didn’t spend more than the threshold to begin filing finance reports.

Attorney and Davie County Commissioner Dan Barrett, the biggest spender in the race, spent $168,000 with a political consulting firm in Lexington, S.C. called Starboard Communications. That amount represents an overwhelming majority of the $191,000 Barrett spent in the race. Finance reports show the $168,000 mostly paid for a TV advertisement.

Business owner and 13th District Republican nominee Ted Budd, the second biggest spender, paid $37,122 to a DC-based consulting firm called Political Ink for mailed advertisements. Budd also spent $1,284 on a flight to Washington DC, according to finance reports. So far, Budd has spent $161,685 in the 13th District race — a figure that’s likely to climb as he enters the general election.

A political action group called The Club for Growth also spent $500,000 on Budd’s behalf in the 13th District race.

State Sen. Andrew Brock, R-34, was the third biggest spender. Brock spent $40,344 with Third Wave Communication in Columbus, Ohio for media consulting. He also spent $49,252 with a firm called Strategic Impact in Lexington, Ky. Like Barrett, Brock spent nearly all of his campaign funds in other states.

A majority of money spent by Walser went to Salisbury-based Miller Davis Inc — a local marketing company. Walser spent $56,828 with Miller Davis Inc. In total, he spent $82,364.

Warren spent a majority of his campaign funds with Shelby-based Westmoreland Printing for mailed advertisements. In total, Warren spent $57,000 during his 13th District campaign, and $32,021 went to Westmoreland Printing.

Besides Budd, it doesn’t appear that spending significant sums of money, regardless of where it was spent, paid off for 13th Distrtict candidates in the Republican primary. Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning performed best of any candidate who spent a majority of his or her money with an out-of-state company. He spent nearly $60,000 with Majority Strategies in Jacksonville, Fla. and finished third in the 13th District race.

Budd will face off against Democrat Bruce Davis, who spent roughly $10,000 in the primary, in November for the 13th District seat.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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