WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The incumbent in North Carolina's 7th Congressional District enjoys a significant fundraising advantage over both of his potential Democratic opponents later this year.
In recent days, the three candidates filed first quarter reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Rep. David Rouzer (R) raised nearly a quarter million dollars in the first few months of 2018, while spending just under $58,000 on his campaign. The first quarter contributions included two $1,000 checks from the National Rifle Association, sent in on March 23rd and March 31st. Supporters of the March for Our Lives movement have been critical of NRA donations to candidates across the country, while raising the issue for more legislation surrounding guns.
Rouzer has more than $1.2 million cash on hand heading into the election season. With no opponent in the Republican primary, Rouzer will have a large monetary lead on both of the Democratic candidates.
Dr. Kyle Horton raised just under $100,000 in the first quarter of 2018 and has more than $81,000 cash on hand heading into the primary election. Her campaign finance report indicates she has received no money from Political Action Committees. It does list nearly $51,000 in contributions received through ActBlue, which is described as a federally registered political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It is also registered as a political action committee with the Federal Election Commission. The group steers individual contributions to Democratic candidates. The media director for the Horton campaign asked us to clarify that ActBlue acts as a credit card processor for individual contributions, much like PayPal.*
Horton's opponent, Grayson Parker from Goldsboro, has not received any campaign contributions and has only a little more than a couple thousand dollars cash on hand. He transferred $2500 to his campaign earlier this year and spent money on yard signs, according to his finance report.
The primary election is set for May 8th.
(*This story was updated with further clarification of ActBlue's role in the fundraising for the Horton campaign.)