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Campaign Loans

In low-profile Council of State primaries with a crowded field, some candidates are plowing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their personal bank accounts to run TV ads and raise their name recognition. Some of the latest self-funding has come in the final month or so of the campaign. The biggest self-funder so far is Sen. Andy Wells, R-Catawba, who dropped $500,000 of his own money into his bid for lieutenant governor. Wells’ latest campaign finance reports shows he spent a similar amount on TV advertising, including a 30-second spot in which he criticizes urban sheriffs who have refused to cooperate with immigration detainers. And with 15 candidates seeking to be the next lieutenant governor, Wells isn’t alone. Bill Toole, an attorney and Democratic Party leader from Gaston County, loaned his campaign $280,600 to help his efforts to buy TV ad spots. Rep. Chaz Beasley, D-Mecklenburg, has loaned his campaign a total of $57,000. Former Rep. Scott Stone, R-Mecklenburg, has spent $165,000 of his own funds, and former legislative aide and lobbyist Greg Gebhardt has put $76,000 in his campaign for the post.

In the Democratic primary for state treasurer, Charlotte City Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera has loaned her campaign $100,000, and Duke University professor Ronnie Chatterji has loaned his campaign $150,000. Raleigh businessman E.C. Sykes has put $127,000 of his personal fortune into the Republican primary for secretary of state, putting his fundraising total well ahead of his opponents. And in the Republican primary for attorney general, Christine Mumma, executive director of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence, has loaned her campaign $352,500, which has helped her spend nearly $500,000 on broadcasts ads. The self-funding has helped put her fundraising totals higher than her GOP primary rivals.

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