Phelps edges ahead of Steinburg in cash chase

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, July 13, 2018

Democrat Cole Phelps has edged ahead of his Republican opponent, state Rep. Bob Steinburg, in fundraising for their Senate District 1 race, new campaign finance reports show.

Thanks largely to a surge in fundraising since late April, Phelps now leads Steinburg in total contributions for their Senate race this fall, raising $90,009 to Steinburg’s $87,802. 

The candidates' latest campaign finance reports show Phelps, a Washington County commissioner, raised $73,788 from April 22 to June 30, the period covered by second-quarter filings due this week to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

Steinburg, meanwhile, raised $13,525 in that same period, based on a tally of contributions since April 22 he included in the mid-year report he submitted to the elections and ethics enforcement board. The mid-year report is due later this month. Steinburg may have submitted the more encompassing report in lieu of a second-quarter report.

Heading toward the fall, Phelps is also sitting on a larger war chest than Steinburg, who spent major sums during an expensive, contentious Republican primary race with Dare County businessman Clark Twiddy.

Phelps ended the second quarter with $68,177 cash on hand, versus $8,427 for Steinburg. That reflects Steinburg having spent $98,141 in his bid for the 11-county Senate District 1, versus Phelps spending $21,832 on the election to date.

The Democratic candidate has also out-raised the Republican candidate in another area legislative race.

Dare County Democrat Tess Judge raised $63,583 for the second quarter — almost five times the $13,050 that Currituck Board of Commissioners Chairman Bobby Hanig raised for the quarter. Election-to-date, Judge has raised $98,894 to Hanig's $25,709.

Judge has also spent $20,893 on the election so far, with $78,000 remaining cash on hand.

Hanig, who defeated incumbent state House Rep. Beverly Boswell in the May GOP primary, has spent $33,664 in the cycle to date. His report also shows he ended the second quarter with a nearly $8,000 deficit, due to $15,000 in “contributions to be refunded.” Hanig has said previously the $15,000 reflects money he himself put in the campaign.

In House District 1, the region’s other state House race, second-quarter reports weren't online yet for either Ed Goodwin, the Republican candidate from Chowan County, or Ronald Wesson, the Democratic candidate from Bertie County. House District 1 includes Camden, Perquimans, Chowan, Bertie, Tyrrell and Washington counties.