WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - With a more than $5,000 contribution to his daughter-in-law's District Court judge campaign this month, former United States Representative Mike McIntyre spent the final dollars of a once burgeoning campaign war chest built over years in southeastern North Carolina.
McIntyre represented the 7th Congressional District from 1997 to the beginning of 2015. The Democrat retired from public office with $355,226 in the bank. Federal laws allows candidates who are no longer in office to maintain the balance in their campaign committee funds, but restricts how that money can be spent. It can be donated to other campaigns, saved for a future run, used to retire campaign debt or given to charitable organizations.
McIntyre openly considered a run for governor in 2012 before announcing plans to leave office at the end of his ninth term in Congress in 2014. Records show McIntyre overwhelmingly chose the charitable route in spending down his campaign funds over the last three years, with more than a quarter million dollars of that being spent since the beginning of 2017.
The NC Bar Association was the big winner with McIntyre cutting a check for $100,000 to the 501C3 organization in March 2017. The same day, McIntyre donated to the UNC School of Law, the NC Study Center and the Morehead-Cain Foundation.
Other groups receiving checks include the Robeson County History Museum, the Robeson County Humane Society and the UNC Pembroke Foundation.
Earlier this month, McIntyre donated $5,192.83 to the campaign of Angelica Chavis McIntyre, who is an assistant district attorney in Robeson County running for a seat on the bench. A representative for McIntyre filed termination papers for the campaign account days later on April 10.
No Democratic candidate has yet to match McIntyre's monetary power in the 7th Congressional District since he left office. Jonathan Barfield spent more than $60,000 as the 2014 Democratic candidate, and J. Welsey Casteen's spending total didn't eclipse $15,000 in 2016.
Dr. Kyle Horton, a Democrat running for the nomination in the 7th during this year's primary, is the closest so far, raising more than $243,000 in her campaign. Her opponent for the nomination, Grayson Parker, has donated $2,500 to his campaign while taking no contributions to date.
McIntyre is a partner in the law firm of Poyner Spruill, which has offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Southern Pines. He did not respond to a request for comment for this story.