Local News

Gubernatorial Candidates War Chests Filling Up

Posted February 6, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Key candidates in the state's gubernatorial race are already filling their campaign war chests with some cold hard cash.

Here's a look. Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker has the most money on hand, with $3 million. Attorney General Mike Easley has drummed up just over $3 million.

Republicans, meanwhile, were touting their numbers in the race for the GOP nomination.

State Rep. Leo Daughtry of Smithfield is reporting about $1.5 million. Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot reported just more than $300,000 and Raleigh lawyer Chuck Neely reported just under $50,000 raised.

Money has become an important measure of a political contender's worth, and candidates are trying to post the biggest numbers they can. State law requires disclosure of what is raised and spent but doesn't regulate the spin that campaigns can put on those numbers.

The campaign reporting system requires campaigns in January to show what they raised from July 1 to Dec. 31 the previous year. But the law does not bar campaigns from including money they raised after Dec. 31. Easley and Wicker did that in their reports.

Wicker's campaign report includes money that came in through Jan. 14, while Easley included campaign contributions received through Jan. 27. Two or four extra weeks for a major campaign can add thousands of dollars to the fund-raising total. From staff and wire reports