Perry matches Murphy in fundraising prowess before today's runoff
By WES WOLFE / SPECIAL TO NEUSE NEWS
Campaign finance reports can be notoriously misleading, but if the tea leaves in the latest round are to be believed, the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary runoff could be a tight affair, indeed.
And if so, the signs are elsewhere in the campaigns — both Greg Murphy and Joan Perry are medical professionals. They’re running in relatively the same ideological lane within the GOP. They live less than an hour from each other in one of the more geographically large congressional districts in the state.
The biggest factor for Murphy in the latest reports is the House Freedom Caucus. The late U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones famously wouldn’t join the group because members are required to vote as a bloc, even when they disagree with the majority opinion of the HFC members.
Jones did, however, frequently collaborate with some HFC members on legislation and policy matters.
The House Freedom Foundation, an arm of the HFC, funneled donations from 15 different states to Murphy, including some from campaigns or “leadership committees” of 12 members of the HFC, plus a donation from the personal bank account of U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C. In total, the HFF organized $39,080 in contributions during the reporting period — April 11-June 19 — including $5,000 from the HFF itself.
And while both candidates are in the health care field, industry associations made their call and went with Murphy. He received $44,500 in health care political action committee contributions, which accounts for 60.3 percent of his PAC total for the reporting period.
The Republican House members giving money to Murphy in the pre-runoff period — through multiple types of committees — include Andy Biggs (Ariz.-5), Mo Brooks (Ala.-5), Warren Davidson (Ohio-8), Neal Dunn (Fla.-2), Mark Green (Tenn.-7), Jim Jordan (Ohio-4), Jody Hice (Ga.-10), Mark Meadows (N.C.-11), Scott Perry (Pa.-10), and Ted Yoho (Fla.-3), along with Norman.
In terms of fundraising bases, the Pitt County medical community opened up their wallets and gave. Murphy picked up $33,585 from Pitt County residents, most of whom work in health care. That represents 28.1 percent of his total itemized individual contributions this period.
On the expenditure end, Murphy paid Doug Schooley’s firm, Campaign General, $129,371.24 and $14,554.20 to Schooley himself for, as the firm’s name suggests, general campaign management. He paid Lindy Robinson’s firm, LSR Consulting, $8,000 and paid her personally $20,903.31, for fundraising and administrative services. Capitol Advisors, also brought on for fundraising, received $23,556.73.
When the final numbers posted, Perry raised around $6,000 less and spent around $800 less than Murphy, but that’s so many pennies when both raised more than $200,000 and both spent more than $240,000 in two months’ time.
Perry’s counter to the HFC in the race is her support among the Republican women in the House. Their numbers noticeably dwindling, groups of GOP women both elected and out of office are looking to change those numbers in 2020, preferably starting with special elections like this one here in 2019.
Perry received $23,500 from committees associated with House Republican women. That includes Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.-3), Virginia Foxx (N.C.-5), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.-4), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.-5), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.-21) and Ann Wagner (Mo.-2).
Former U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., also gave $2,500 from her leadership committee. Current 2nd District U.S. Rep. George Holding also gave $2,500 from his leadership committee, and his chief of staff chipped in $1,500. U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, from N.C.’s 10th District, gave $5,000 from his PAC.
Noted state kingmaker Art Pope also contributed $1,000.
Perry also picked up $10,000 from the Value in Electing Women PAC, $5,000 from Winning for Women, $3,500 from the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund.
She pulled most of her in-state individual contributions from the capital area — $42,800 generated from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Garner. Perry also collected $26,200 from Lenoir County and $10,450 from Charlotte.
For her consultants, Perry spread around the business. FlexPoint Media, an Ohio firm, received $132,026 for advertising, and Georgia’s the Stoneridge Group received $40,755.93 for services including direct mail, printing and online services. RedPrint Strategy, out of South Carolina, received $20,000, and MC Rawling Consulting pulled in $9,558.97 for fundraising. Oak Grove Campaigns also received $5,000 for campaign management consulting.
Campaign manager Blake Belch received $6,500, and the campaign paid Robert Harris of Raleigh $3,000 for research.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
PRE-RUNOFF CAMPAIGN FINANCE (April 11-June 19, 2019)
Itemized Individual Contributions: $119,145.09
Total Individual Contributions: $152,247.09
Cash on Hand: $95,004.27
Itemized Individual Contributions: $149,883.80
Total Individual Contributions: $163,761.23
Cash on Hand: $54,708.11