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Murphy leads Perry in 3rd District cash chase

Election 2019-North Carolina-3rd District

In this June 3 file photo, 3rd Congressional District candidate Dr. Joan Perry of Kinston (left) answers a question during her debate with state Rep. Greg Murphy, a Greenville physician and fellow GOP 3rd Congressional District candidate, in Greenville. The two Republicans are vying for their party's nomination in a second primary election today.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

State House Rep. Greg Murphy continues to lead opponent Joan Perry in fundraising heading into today's second Republican primary election in the 3rd Congressional District.

Voting for today's second GOP primary gets underway at polling sites across the 17-county 3rd Congressional District at 6:30 a.m. and continues until 7:30 p.m. More than 10,000 one-stop and absentee ballots have already been cast in the race.

Murphy, a urologist from Pitt County, has raised $543,991, while Perry, a pediatrician from Lenoir County, has raised $373,851, according to their latest reports available on the Federal Election Commission's website. The FEC required the candidates to turn in updated campaign finance reports late last month.

Murphy also led in fundraising in April, when reports were last due, but had only raised about $318,000 then. Perry has more than doubled her fundraising since the April report, going from roughly $154,000 to the almost $374,000 raised through June 27.

The reports also show Murphy leading Perry in campaign spending, with about $449,000 in spending to Perry's $319,000. Most of that spending has been for advertising, with the campaign paying Campaign General, of Beaufort, more than $280,000 for media buys, signs and other printed materials, and other expenses.

Most of Perry's spending has similarly gone to advertising. She spent more than $173,000 with Flexpoint Media, of New Albany, Ohio, her report shows.

A review of contributors shows that Murphy has received about $359,000 in itemized, or identified, individual contributions, plus almost $45,000 in unitemized, small-dollar contributions, and $89,750 from various political committees.

In particular, Murphy has received strong support from the House Freedom Fund, the campaign arm of the House Freedom Caucus that is supporting his bid for Congress. Based on the FEC's website, the fund has steered more than $100,000 in donations to Murphy's campaign, a figure that includes the fund acting as a pass-through for numerous small-dollar donors. Those pass-through donations don't count toward the contribution limit for donations made directly by the fund itself, based on an interview Monday with an FEC spokesman.

In other significant committee contributions, Murphy also received $5,000 each from the following political action committees: the American Society of Anesthesiologists; the American College of Surgeons Professional Association; the National Automobile Dealers Association; the EmergeOrtho PA; the American College of Radiology Association; and the American Association of Clinical Urologists.

Murphy also received $10,000 in two contributions from the committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology: half during the first primary and half during the second.

Murphy has also gotten about 40 contributions from individuals of $2,800, the maximum amount per election cycle, which is about the same number as Perry has gotten.

Perry has gotten about $260,000 in itemized contributions, $23,000 in unitemized contributions, and about $59,000 in committee contributions. She's received just over $12,000 in support from the Susan B. Anthony Fund, including pass-through dollars from small donors.

In other significant committee contributions, Perry has received contributions of $5,000 each from the Winning For Women Political Action Committee, Innovation PAC and E-PAC. She has also received $10,000 from the Value in Electing Women PAC, split across the two primaries.

The candidates have also put their own money into their campaigns, as Murphy has lent his campaign $50,000, and Perry has lent hers $30,000.

The winner of today's GOP primary will face Democrat Allen Thomas, a former Greenville mayor, and several third-party candidates in a special election set for Sept. 10.

The FEC has not required Thomas to turn in updated campaign finance reports since April, because he won the Democratic primary and isn't part of today's election. He last reported raising about $255,000, most of that through a $200,000 loan he made to his campaign.

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