Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley’s campaign says it will report $2.1 million raised in the fourth quarter of 2021, marking her best quarter since joining the race this past April, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: Beasley now has $2.8 million in cash-on-hand in the race for Richard Burr’s all-important seat, and she’s entering a five-month stretch before the primary where she can focus mostly on fundraising.
- Beasley is the presumptive Democratic nominee after Jeff Jackson’s departure from the race last month.
- Meanwhile, the leading Republican candidates, Ted Budd and Pat McCrory, are campaigning hard against each other until primary day. And Mark Walker recently indicated to ABC 11 that he intends to stay in the race.
- The primary is scheduled for May.
Context: In this purple state that could swing the balance of power in the Senate, the 2022 contest figures to be close — and very, very expensive.
- In the 2020 Senate race between Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham, the candidates and outside groups combined to spend nearly $300 million.
- That was the most expensive race in history until the Georgia runoff.
Be smart: Final fundraising numbers for the fourth quarter — including breakdowns of how much came from which donors — will be released on Jan. 31. But often campaigns that are proud of their totals will release the big numbers early.
By the numbers: Beasley, the former state Supreme Court Chief Justice, has led all candidates in each quarter since entering the race. She raised:
- $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2021.
- $1.5 million in the third quarter.
- Fundraising will only heat up from here. In the 2020 Senate race, for instance, Cal Cunningham raised more than $7 million in the second quarter alone.
What we’re watching: When the final numbers are released, it’ll be interesting to see a deeper breakdown of where the money’s coming from and who’s given to whom. Beasley’s campaign says 90% of the donations are of $100 or less.
- A recent McClatchy review of fundraising totals through the third quarter showed that McCrory, Charlotte’s former mayor, led all candidates in fundraising in wealthy Mecklenburg County.
What they’re saying: “Cheri has dedicated her life fighting for justice and fairness, and she continues to earn support in this campaign because voters trust her to fight for them in Washington.” — Travis Brimm, Beasley’s campaign manager. Campaign Manager for Cheri Beasley for North Carolina.