Wooten has slight edge over Graham in fundraising

Tommy Wooten.jpg
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Sgt. Tommy Wooten II

Eddie Graham.jpg

By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, July 13, 2018

Republican sheriff candidate Tommy Wooten appears to have a slight fundraising edge over his Democratic opponent Eddie Graham in the Pasquotank sheriff’s race, new campaign finance reports show.

Wooten, a sergeant in the Pasquotank Sheriff's Office, has raised $9,414 in his bid to replace retiring Sheriff Randy Cartwright, according to Wooten’s second-quarter campaign finance report submitted to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

Graham, a sergeant with the Elizabeth City Police Department, has raised almost $1,000 less in the election to date, at $8,472, according to his report provided by the Pasquotank Board of Elections.

Wooten has also outspent Graham, the reports show, spending $11,869 to Graham’s $7,103.

Wooten's report does indicate he has a negative $2,454 cash on hand; that's a smaller deficit than the negative $4,368 shown on his first-quarter report.

Wooten could not immediately explain the apparent deficit Thursday. He said his campaign is not in the red, and that its expenses have been paid for. He also said he hasn't received loans or made personal loans to the campaign, which could be counted against the total.

Wooten said he's pleased with his fundraising so far, and has raised about $2,000 more since turning in the second-quarter report.

The fall campaign's been fairly quiet since the May primary, in which Wooten defeated his coworker, Lt. Bill Ward, for the GOP nomination, but Wooten said he's planning numerous events for the weeks ahead.

Graham also said he's pleased with his fundraising. He also said he's planning the same strong ground game in the fall that helped him win the Democratic primary over three opponents: Lt. Brent McKecuen, Sgt. Todd Wagner and Deputy Tobie McPherson, all three sheriff's department employees.

In other races, Pasquotank County Commissioner Charles Jordan, a Democrat, is the first candidate for county commissioner to raise more than $1,000, triggering requirements for detailed finance reports. According to his report, he's raised $1,050 to end the second quarter with $1,609 cash on hand. That reflects expenditures of $341 for flyers and other campaign materials.

Jordan, who was appointed to the Board of Commissioners to fill a vacancy, is running for one of two at-large seats. The other Democrat seeking an at-large seat is Commissioner Bill Sterritt. Two Republicans — Barry Overman and Josh Tunnell — are challenging Jordan and Sterritt for the seats. 

Commissioner Joe Winslow, a Democrat, is also seeking re-election in the Northern Outside district. He’s opposed by Republican Sean Lavin.

The Pasquotank Board of Elections also provided a finance report for one candidate for Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Board of Education: former Northeastern High School Principal Ron Payne. The report shows Payne, a candidate for one of two Outside City seats on the school board, has raised $562 so far and has spent $65. He may have submitted the report in anticipation of spending more than $1,000 before the Nov. 6 election.

The other candidates for the Outside City seats are incumbent Sharon Warden, the school board’s chairwoman, and challengers Tony Flach and George Archuleta.