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December 2, 2020

Rep. Warren leads challenger Heggins in fundraising, cash on hand

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — In the race for House District 76, the latest campaign finance reports show Republican Rep. Harry Warren leads his Democratic challenger, Al Heggins, in fundraising and cash on hand.

Both candidates began the latest reporting period with more than $10,000 in cash on hand and have spent thousands on campaign resources such as advertising and yard signs. But Warren grew that amount in the final months of the campaign by more than $6,000 by spending less than his campaign generated. Heggins, Salisbury’s mayor pro tem, spent more money in the period than her campaign generated.

Third quarter campaign finance reports were due to the state Board of Elections on Tuesday, and include donations and spending from July 1 to Oct. 17.

Warren began the reporting period with $13,565 cash on hand and ended the period with $19,025 cash on hand. He spent $24,114 the latest reporting period and has spent $70,682 during the entire election cycle. Those expenditures include $9,137 in contributions to candidates and political committees.

One large portion of Warren’s spending includes $10,000 in dues for the North Carolina Republican House Caucus, with $8,000 in the latest report period. Other spending includes $1,617 to the Rowan Republican Executive Committee and a $600 donation to the Rowan County Republican Party building. He’s spent nearly $5,000 to date on campaign yard signs and flyers for the campaign as well as $1,170 on radio ads.

Warren said donating back to caucuses, such as the North Carolina Republican House Caucus, provides support for other Republican candidates across the state.

In another expense, Warren’s campaign spent $5,700 on apartment rent in Raleigh. This period, Warren paid $2,850 in rent for the months of July, August and September.

Though the General Assembly adjourned from its legislative session in early July, lawmakers returned for a two-day session in early September to disburse remaining federal CARES Act funds. Warren said campaign funds can be used to cover those lodging expenses when the per diem doesn’t cover the cost.

North Carolina General Statute 163-278. 16B, enacted on Aug. 1, states that campaign funds cannot be used on rent or mortgage payments on properties the candidates or their family members own. It doesn’t outlaw funds used for apartments only being rented. The North Carolina State Board of Elections did not respond to a request from the Post for clarification on the law by press time on Wednesday.

Warren said campaign funds have been harder to generate this year due to the pandemic impacting fundraising events and door-to-door campaigning. Thus, the campaign has relied on media, such as direct mail and radio ads, to get the word out, he said.

His campaign has generated $78,054 in contributions during the campaign, with $29,574 of those contributions from the latest reporting period. Of that total, $17,525 total comes from political action committees and $47,654 from individuals.

Political action committee donations during the reporting period include $2,500 from State Farm Agents and Associates PAC, $1,500 from NC Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association PAC, $1,000 from Northeast Anesthesia and Pain Specialists PAC, $1,000 from Wells Fargo North Carolina Employees Good Government Fund and $500 from McGuireWoods Federal PAC.

Warren also received $500 from NC Home Builders Association PAC, $500 from NC Orthopedic Association PAC, $500 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC PAC and $1,000 from REAP PAC, or the Rural Electric Action Program PAC, from the advocacy organization NC Electric Cooperatives.

A 48-Hour Notice report filed on Oct. 27 shows Warren also received $1,020 from NC Automobile Dealers Association PAC.

The campaign of Rep. Julia Howard, a Mocksville Republican, also contributed $2,750 to Warren’s campaign, according to the third quarter report. Howard is running for re-election to House District 77, which encompasses Rowan and Davie counties, and her 17th term overall in the state House.

Individual donors to Warren’s campaign include $3,000 this period Greg Alcorn, the CEO of Global Contact Services; $2,500 from Bill Graham, of the Wallace & Graham law firm; and $1,500 from Elaine Hewitt, an active member of the local Republican party. Warren also received $540 this period and to date from Catherine Warren, $600 to date from David Hurst, $250 from Charles Hughes and $250 from Mark Doby of Wallace & Graham.

By contrast, Heggins began the period with $10,750 cash on hand and ended the period with $2,982 cash on hand. She spent $24,155 this reporting period and $28,111 to date.

Her third quarter report shows $1,480 have been used for website, Zoom and ActBlue service fees. ActBlue is a nonprofit online fundraising organization for Democratic and progressive candidates.

Heggins’ campaign has also spent $8,705 to date on yard signs and other graphic designs, $7,000 for videography and digital advertising, $1,670 has been spent on mailings and $576 for face masks and mugs.

“Donors have been gracious enough to share their hard-earned dollars with us and that has helped our team to run a robust campaign,” Heggins said. “I’m proud to say that we were intentional about circulating those dollars back into our local economy by using nearly all of our vendors from the 76th district.”

Vendors Heggins’ campaign has used for advertising includes local marketing agency Codist Creative Inc. as well as Diversified Graphics, located on North Long Street.

Heggins’ campaign has generated $15,237 in donations this period and $28,343 to date from individuals. She’s received $31,093 in contributions total this election cycle, with $2,050 of those dollars from PACs and political party committees. In this reporting period, $368 came from political party committees and $82 was transferred from her city council committee.

Heggins’ donors include $1,000 this period from Sara Bartlett, of Salisbury, as well as $450 this period and $1,100 to date from Rocky Cabagnot, also of Salisbury.

Additionally, Heggins has received $1,500 total from local philanthropist Ed Norvell; $1,401 total from Across the Pond Bed and Breakfast co-owner Mary Walker; $536 total from Ryan Stowe, of Stowe Law Firm; $300 total from Tyler Craft, of First Horizon Bank; $500 total from Whitney Wallace-Williams, of Wallace & Graham; $375 to date from Nan Lund and $350 total from Liesa Montag-Siegel. Vandy Gaffney, an anesthesiologist from Mableton, Georgia, also contributed $1,100 to Heggins’ campaign.

Heggins has also received $500 from the North Carolina region’s International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America V-PAC from Baltimore. UAW North Carolina V-PAC is included in region eight, which covers 21 states across the south, mid-east and west.

“Workers know I’m passionate about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and ensuring safe work environments,” Heggins said.

The fourth quarter report for state candidates is due on Jan. 12, and will include activity from Oct. 18 to Dec. 31.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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