NC-02: Duncan keeping pace with Ellmers in fundraising

jdThe race for the Second Congressional District is usually settled in the GOP primary.  Since 2012, those primaries have been contentious affairs featuring under-funded, lesser-known Tea Party candidates going after ex-Tea Party darling Renee Ellmers.

Ellmers, in a position to load up on PAC money that allows her to control the narrative, was usually able to do just that against her underdog Tea Party primary challengers.  Well, it looks like things will be different this time around.

Sources are telling us that former Chatham County GOP chairman Jim Duncan, a retired tech company executive with ties to numerous conservative and Tea Party groups, will submit paperwork to the FEC Wednesday featuring fundraising totals that should have the DC GOP establishment reaching for their Maalox.

In exclusive interviews with folks intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Jim Duncan campaign, we’ve learned that Duncan has raised — between February 28 and June 30 — a total of $217,043.60.  He has spent $34,989.72 and reports $182,053.88 in cash-on-hand as of June 30.

Contrast that with the performance of the incumbent Ellmers who, according to her April quarterly report (1-1-15 to mouth3-31-15) raised $195,644 and spent $127,458. According to her report, she has $220,351 on-hand.

Frank Roche, the other announced candidate in the GOP primary, is reporting raising — from 1-1 to 6-30 — a total of $12,792 and spending $9420.  He reports having $3372 in cash on hand.

Longtime political observers will tell you it is a sign of trouble for an incumbent when a challenger can meet or beat the incumbent’s fundraising totals.

There is one caveat in connection with Duncan’s fundraising numbers. They include a $100,000 contribution of his own personal funds to the campaign.  I asked a source close to the Duncan campaign about that: 

”Some people will look at that and try to suggest that Jim Duncan is trying to buy a seat in Congress.  That’s nonsense.  Instead of taking money from special interests in exchange for a favor to be named later, Mr. Duncan is making sure he has skin in the game and that he doesn’t owe anybody.  capitol

He is a self-made man who pulled himself up from an early life in low-income housing to a very successful career in business.  Jim Duncan is worried that the America he came along in — that allowed him to reap the benefits of his hard work — is fading away fast. He is not in this for an ego trip.  He sincerely wants to join the fight to try and save this country for future generations.”

The source told me that 76 percent of Duncan’s campaign treasury comes from North Carolina residents.  The remaining 24 percent comes from people spread across 15 different states.  My source said 55 percent of the campaign’s individual contributions are in amounts less than $200.  My source added: 

”After nearly six years of this particular incumbent, people are excited to see someone like Jim Duncan come along.  He’s not going to vote for a secret trade bill that no one is allowed to read, like the incumbent did, that teagives Barack Obama a whole lot more power to wreck this economy.

Jim Duncan is not going to campaign as a principled conservative in the district and then go up to Washington and sell out on late-term abortion and amnesty for illegal aliens, like the incumbent in this district has. He is not going to allow himself to be owned by John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy, like this incumbent has.  He’ll be his own man — answering only to the people of the district and God up above.”

So far, it looks like a three-way primary in May 2016.  (There are whispers that a fourth candidate may be jumping in soon.)  But the fundraising numbers are telling us, right now, that there are only TWO credible candidates vying for the GOP nomination in this district. 



9 thoughts on “NC-02: Duncan keeping pace with Ellmers in fundraising

  1. could Frank Roche get out of the race and legally give all his campaign funds to Duncan? If it is legal to do this and Mr. Roche is reading this then I really wish you would consider this and putting all your support and supporters on the front line with Duncan’s campaign

    as too someone else entering the race I hope you will not this if you really want to challenge someone then challenge Burr or the Governor

  2. Follow the money. Another establishment republican that will follow Boehner and the rest of the RINO’s.

  3. It comes as no surprise that Jim Duncan is doing well in fundraising – his commitment to listen to District 2 constituents is resonating with us and we are more than pleased to support Jim with our time, talent and yes, with our treasure as well. He will be responsive and responsible, and we’re all in for Jim! Check out his website and sign on for Jim Duncan!!

  4. Renee Ellmers is a liberal and needs to go. Jim Duncan is a solid conservative who can take her out, and is proving that he can build the campaign to make that happen. Roche had his shot last time and blew it, failing on both fundraising and organization to build a successful campaign. Roche should find some other office to run for this time.

  5. So if we follow the logic of this article, what makes a “credible” candidate is money, not message. Last year Mr. Roche’s campaign raised $50K in about 4 months and he was able to garner 41% + of the vote. All this while going up against establish Republican organizations such as the Chatham County GOP under Jim Duncan’s leadership. Mr. Roche started sounding the horn against Ellmers long before anyone else and has been proven right time and again as to where her true loyalties lie. Do qualifications not matter? Do we really want another rich politician that claims to “listen to the people”? Or do we instead want, and deserve, someone who has spent the better part of 30 years studying, learning, and living fiscal policy, international trade, imigration policy and how all of those things have and are affecting District 02, NC, and the USA. To say that Mr. Roche “blew it” last time is unfair and inaccurate. He, in fact, brought the discussion of immigration to the national forefront and performed amazingly well given the obstacles the establishment threw in his path. Perhaps instead of asking Mr. Roche to step aside for a rich, well-connected candidate, we should be calling for Mr. Duncan to step aside and support the candidate that truly knows what needs to be done in DC and has the knowledge to back that up.

    1. Ok Dana, lets all get this right… Roach, who has proven three times that he is incompetent to run a campaign, cannot lead a team, who wrote a letter to the world blaming voters for his loss, has a 100% record of loosing… is the man we should all get behind? Please, continue to tell me all about his virtue, why he is superior and how smart he is.

      Since when do Republicans criticize people for being successful business people? Isn’t that the American dream? Isn’t that what you want for your children? Or, is it that you have a strong Democrat streak that wants to play a class warfare game? You sound more like a Democrat looking for party infighting.

      From what I hear, Duncan is a humble man from humble beginnings who started with nothing and made something of himself. From the sounds of things, he is the only person in this race who doesn’t need a job or is trying to market a company or form a PAC to cash-in on. I am willing to give Duncan a try in this race. Clearly Roach didn’t work out. Its actually kind of sad and embarrassing that Roach never got the message from the voters that he has been solidly rejected.

    2. Let’s be realistic. That 41% was more anti-Ellmers than pro-Roche. Roche did not attract the supporters to win a campaign. He will not do any better this time, based on his fundraising to date. He was unable to motivate the national conservative PACs to get in the race, something Duncan is very likely to be able to do.

      The goal here is to defeat Ellmers and send a Congressman who will vote for principles, not as they are told by the ”boss”. With a 40% threshold to avoid a runoff, Roche staying in the race just boosts Ellmers chances. If he really wants to help the conservative cause, he will challenge a different RINO for Congress and not split the vote in this race. Given his fundraising numbers, his best bet to actually win his first election might be to challenge a RINO state legislator, and use that to build his political credibility to later run for a higher position.

  6. Rene Ellmers: she won in NC by getting the librats to vote in the primary and after that, all she had to do is beat the hollywood and militant gay financed Clay Aikin(D). She would have lost in the primary’s had it not been for underhanded trick of making sure her REAL CONSTITUENTS (libmarxist & RINO’s), changed the intended process of fair representation. The demonrats have NO moral compass other than the end justifies the means. That pain conservatives feel in their back?… it’s Rene’s knife.
    Ellmers is despised by the majority of conservatives in NC….Justifiably so

  7. Roche is a proven loser. Step aside for a true conservative candidate who can win. I support Jim Duncan and will keep giving his campaign money. And I don’t even live in the district. Go Jim! #TeamDuncan

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