North Carolina’s Democratic Party is trumping a record amount of cash on hand heading into the fall 2018 elections.
How’d they get it all? With the help of a high-powered startup founder, a best-selling author and the fundraising prowess of a half-dozen of North Carolina’s liberal superstars.
As second quarter financial reports became public on Thursday, Democrats trumpeted a record $5.8 million in cash available in the campaign war chest.
Longleaf Politics dug into the Democratic Party’s report to see where it call came from.
The #1 donor? Tech mogul Reid Hoffman.
The largest chunk — $500,000 — came from Reid Hoffman, the founder and chairman of LinkedIn. Last year, he announced an effort to reinvigorate the Democratic Party apparatus. Hoffman’s net worth is about $3.3 billion after his company’s sale to Microsoft.
Greg Lindberg, the chairman of Durham-based investment firm Eli Global, gave $250,000. He must be hedging his bets, because Lindberg has also given just under $1.5 million to the state Republican Party this cycle.
A national PAC aiming to help Democrats gain more control over electoral redistricting also gave $250,000.
David I. Cohen, a Charlotte wealth manager, gave $140,000.
Novelist John Grisham gave $40,000.
Much of the rest came from Democratic Party stars.
Nearly all of the state’s incumbent legislators transferred significant chunks of cash to the state party, presumably to redistribute to battleground races or places Democrats hope to flip.
Six, in particular, raised the lion’s share. All but Searcy are in safe blue districts. The figures that follow are total amounts given to the state Democratic Party this election cycle. Large chunks came in the second quarter.
1) Sen. Dan Blue, a Wake County Democrat and the Senate minority leader, gave $140,000.
2) Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, also of Wake County, gave $120,000.
3) Sam Searcy, a former Congressional candidate who’s now challenging a Republican for a suburban Wake County Senate seat, gave $100,000.
4) Rep. Graig Meyer, an Orange County Democrat and “pragmatic progressive,” gave $75,000.
5) Rep. Darren Jackson, of Wake County, gave $74,000.
6) Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte gave $51,000.
Nearly all incumbent legislators gave some amount to the state party.
North Carolina’s Democratic Party is flush with cash. Will that translate to success?
The massive dollar amount is a sign that North Carolina Democrats are the most organized, energized and galvanized than they’ve been in a long time. They smell a wave election, and are leaning into it.
They likely have a significant fundraising advantage over N.C. Republicans, but it’s complicated.
The state Democratic Party’s war chest is nearly four times as much than the $1.3 million the state Republican Party recorded.
But this is a little misleading. North Carolina Republicans don’t usually have their campaigners hand all their money over to the state party. Instead, powerful legislators transfer money as needed from their own committees.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has another $1.6 million on hand, according to reports filed this week. House Speaker Tim Moore’s reports were not public yet, but he had about $830,000 at the end of the first quarter and that has certainly since gone up.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s reports are also not up, so it’s unclear how much he’s raised.
The 2018 North Carolina elections are likely to be among the most expensive in history.
If you enjoy watching television ads, you’re in luck.
Cover photo of Reid Hoffman via Flickr.