Winners spent big on 2014 US House races

Posted January 5, 2015
Updated January 6, 2015

WRAL Investigates The Money Trail

— North Carolina U.S. House candidates spent more than $20 million seeking seats in the upcoming session of Congress, with Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers outpacing all others. Senate debate Political TV ad spending in North Carolina

Ellmers spent $1.7 million in her bid to keep her seat, fending off Democrat Clay Aiken, an entertainer who won a close Democratic primary. Aiken spent $1.18 million, but some of that was to edge out former Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco for the Democratic nomination. 

Of the 13 congressional races in North Carolina, winners spent more than their general election foes in all but one case. Democrat Laura Fjeld spent $904,779 in the 6th District race but lost to Republican Mark Walker, who only spent $791,337 over the course of the campaign.

Those numbers don't reflect spending from outside groups such as super PACs and nonprofits. Such outside spending drove up the cost of the U.S. Senate contest between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican victor Thom Tillis but were less present in U.S. House races. 

However, aside from Fjeld and Aiken, both Democrats, the only other U.S. House challenger to raise six-figures or more was Vincent Coakley, the Republican who ran against Democrat Alma Adams in the 12th District. Adams won the seat, spending more than twice as much as Coakley. 

In all other races, the eventual winners spent at least four times as much as their opponents.  

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  • BigBrokeBill Jan 5, 2015

    So, your only telling half the story by omitting the money spent by outside lobbyists. Way to spin the numbers, WRAL!

  • archmaker Jan 5, 2015

    Please help. Can't afford a congressman. Any donation will help. God bless!