Kinston listed as a top political town
Photo by Linda Whittington / Neuse News
In a recent article, Andrew Dunn, publisher of Longleaf Politics, looked into which towns in North Carolina were the most political, by analyzing data of who donated the most to political campaigns. Kinston was listed as 24th out of the top 25 cities with $75,272.17 worth of donations for 2018.
“Kinston had an unusually large number of small donations,” Dunn said. “Out of 234 separate contributions in the time period, I considered, only eight of them were larger than $2,000.”
According to Dunn’s research, from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, many of the larger donations went to Gov. Roy Cooper or the Democratic Party.
“The smaller donors tend to be doctors, financial advisors, attorneys and retired people,” Dunn said.
While Kinston is high on the list for political donations, it is not as high in regards to median income.
“According to our latest data records, the median household income for Lenoir County is $36,656. This is in comparison to $48,256 for North Carolina and the U.S. is $55,322,” said Keely Koonce, economic development specialist at Lenoir County Economic Development.
Dunn said he thinks Kinston has always been a political center of Eastern North Carolina
“Historically, Kinston was at the intersection of several railroad lines, had well-developed roads and served as a major tobacco market," Dunn said. "That emphasis on politics carried forward into today.”
Dunn was inspired to write his story after repeatedly hearing that Charlotte is not a political town.
“I had heard that people here do not participate in politics or give money to campaigns at a very high rate, and I wanted to put some data behind it,” Dunn said. “I found out that Charlotte is, in fact, very low on the political contribution spectrum.”