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Reports show lopsided fundraising race in 13th District

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — In the third quarter of 2016, 13th District candidate Ted Budd, a Republican, raised more than 16 times the amount of his Democratic opponent Bruce Davis.

Before the general election began, political observers remarked that the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District would elect a Republican in November. Campaign finance reports show a similar story in the fundraising race.

Budd, who lives in Davie County and owns a gun shop in Rural Hall, raised a total of $173,226 from July to October, according to finance reports due last week.

Most of Budd’s contributions came from outside the district. However, many of the out-of-district contributions came from Forsyth County — where Budd’s business is located. He also raised a significant sum — $62,500 — from political action committees. More commonly known as PACs, they advocate for specific issues or a candidate for public office.

When asked about the reports, Budd said he’s “excited and honored” that people he’s worked with trust him to represent North Carolina in Congress.

“I run a small business in Forsyth County and have been blessed with unique opportunities around the country,” Budd said. “Whether you’re a farmer in Advance or a small business owner in Salisbury, you understand that government regulations are stifling job creation around the country. We have to grow our economy. That’s my vision and that’s the vision that folks are supporting.”

During the same period, Davis raised a total of just $28,209. Nearly all of his contributions came from within the 13th District. He contributed $9,500 to his own campaign and raised $2,750 from political action committees.

During the third quarter of 2016, Davis didn’t receive any contributions from Rowan County. Neither Davis nor a representative from his campaign could be reached on Monday.

Budd also didn’t receive any contributions from Rowan County. However, he spent $500 with the Rowan County Republican Party to sponsor the organization’s golf tournament.

Budd’s other expenses include: postage, accounting, polling, office supplies, rent for office space, catering, consulting, pay for campaign staff and Facebook ads. His campaign spent a total of $91,070 during the third quarter. As of Sept. 30, Budd’s campaign had $123,833 in cash on hand.

Davis spent $31,105 during the third quarter. Expenses included: hotel rooms, postage, pay for campaign staff, rent for office space and advertising. His campaign has $2,155 in cash on hand.

When asked about the importance of last week’s fundraising reports, Budd said it’s more important that voters consider policy positions.

“I support cutting government overregulation and growing our economy,” he said. “My opponent has a record of raising taxes and supports Obamacare. I would have a hard time raising money as well if I were trying to sell Obamacare.”

The Federal Elections Commission requires both candidates to file reports one more time before the Nov. 8 election. The next reports are due on Oct. 27.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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