WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Two Republican candidates for Congress released dueling press releases Wednesday, over the issue of campaign cash.
Ilario Pantano and David Rouzer are both running for the Republican nomination in North Carolina's 7th Congressional District. Democrat Mike McIntyre has held the seat since 1997.
Majority Connections LLC, a consulting group in Durham, sent a release that included a statement from Bob Rosser, an advisor to the David Rouzer for Congress campaign. It cited what it called numbers from Pantano's latest campaign report that showed "he has only $8,912 cash on hand – with over $50,000 in debt – after spending more than $93,000 in the last quarter."
Pantano's campaign sent out a release that arrived about an hour later. "FEC (Federal Election Commission) filings released today show that 2010 conservative GOP nominee Ilario Pantano has surged 10% in his best fundraising quarter of 2011" said the statement. It went on to say Rouzer has seen his support fall off 60% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2011.
Below is the complete text of the release sent by Pantano for Congress:
Pantano surges while Rouzer falls 60%, according to fundraising and polls
FEC filings released today show that 2010 conservative GOP nominee Ilario Pantano has surged 10% in his best fundraising quarter of 2011. Pantano's momentum is noteworthy as his opponent, lobbyist David Rouzer, has seen his support fall off 60% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2011. This drop in fundraising ability is reflected by polls recently released by the Pantano campaign, showing Pantano's lead over his opponent widening 20% to 48-21, and Pantano's likeability also increasing. Pantano's strength is particularly noteworthy because of the $2 million in negative ads the Democrats leveled against him in 2010.
What the fundraising totals and new polls reflect is that as voters in the new 7th district have gotten to know both of the candidates over the last seven months, support for Pantano has increased, and support for his opponent has eroded.
Andy Yates with the Pantano for Congress Campaign said the following: "While the average North Carolina family is struggling to pay their mortgage and couldn't be bothered with the insider politics of fundraising figures, this news sends a clear message to the special interests supporting Rouzer in Raleigh and in Washington that the viability of his candidacy may have been over sold. Pantano wants to go to Washington to reform it, but the lobbyists supporting Rouzer clearly expect him to conform to it, which is why they have invested so heavily in Rouzer's candidacy."
Yates continued, "The polls and fundraising numbers show us that Pantano's experience in the Marines and Rouzer's experience as a lobbyist put them at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. One sees government as service, the other sees government as a career."
Below is the complete text of the release sent by Majority Connections, LLC:
Rouzer Campaign: "We Don't Need Another Big Deficit Spender"
Raleigh, NC - Bob Rosser, advisor to the David Rouzer for Congress campaign, released the following statement today in regards to end of the year campaign finance reports:
"Congress does not need another deficit spender. Ilario Pantano's FEC reports reveal he would fit right in with the deficit spenders in Congress. His latest campaign report showed he has only $8,912 cash on hand – with over $50,000 in debt – after spending more than $93,000 in the last quarter.
"It is interesting that Pantano continues to pay himself expenses before he pays his debts to the small businesses he owes. Just like in Congress, Pantano is sticking the little guy with the bill while taking care of himself."
David Rouzer is a current state senator and a candidate for Congress in North Carolina's 7th District.
Pantano ran in 2010 against incumbent McIntyre, coming up short by a 54-46 margin. Rouzer is serving his second term in the NC Senate representing Johnston and Wayne counties.