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Stories about North Carolina

Facebook was paid $78,960 from North Carolina campaign accounts; other states reported millions

In North Carolina, state-level candidates and PACs have spent $78,960 from their campaign accounts on services from Facebook in the 2022 election cycle so far. Facebook received 0.18 percent of all reported expenditures. 

According to reports filed with the North Carolina State Board of Elections between Jan. 1, 2021, and Apr. 30, 2022, here are the top candidates and PACs that have spent campaign funds with Facebook.

Top 10 North Carolina campaigns spending money with Facebook

Of the $78,960 spent with Facebook, 48.5 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with Facebook (1/1/2021 – 4/30/2022)

RankTotal Paid to FacebookNameAccount Type
1.$9,954.00Carolina FederationNon-candidate PAC
2.$7,077.14Jim PerryCandidate PAC
3.$4,000.00ColorofchangeNon-candidate PAC
4.$3,200.00Durham for AllNon-candidate PAC
5.$2,900.80Angie SpillmanCandidate PAC
6.$2,734.06George McClellanCandidate PAC
7.$2,213.94Chad HawkinsCandidate PAC
8.$2,105.89Harper PetersonCandidate PAC
9.$2,074.56Graig R MeyerCandidate PAC
10.$2,035.00Beth StockwellCandidate PAC

Campaign expenditures with Facebook in 12 states

Here is how spending with Facebook in North Carolina compares to 12 other states with data available from Transparency USA for the most recent election cycle:

Comparison of total campaign finance expenditures with Facebook, by state

RankStateTotal Paid to FacebookReporting Period
1California$5,290,7451/1/2021- 4/23/2022
2Virginia$4,486,8631/1/2020-12/31/2021*
3Texas$2,675,2761/1/2021 – 5/14/2022
4Michigan$194,1801/1/2021 – 4/20/2022
5Minnesota$166,0721/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
6Arizona123,1541/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
7Pennsylvania$106,5131/1/2021 – 3/9/2022
8Wisconsin$101,9781/1/2021 – 3/21/2022
9North Carolina$78,9601/1/2021 – 4/30/2022
10Florida$38,5421/1/2021 – 3/31/202
11Indiana$29,5341/1/2021 – 4/8/2022
12Ohio$19,9241/1/2021 – 4/13/2022
*Virginia’s two-year election cycles end in an odd-numbered year. The first available reports for Virginia’s 2023 election cycle are due Jul. 17, 2022.

While spending varies widely between states, no state on Transparency USA has reported more than 1.06 percent of total campaign expenditures on services from Facebook in the most recent cycle.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active North Carolina PACs submitted to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Semiannual1/28/2022
2022 Q1 Plus5/10/2022
2022 Semiannual (only candidates not on 2022 ballot)7/29/2022
2022 Q3 Plus10/31/2022
2022 Q41/11/2023
2022 Year End Semiannual (only candidates not on 2022 ballot)1/27/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Davis wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

Donald Davis defeated Erica Smith and two other candidates in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not file to run for re-election.

WRAL’s Bryan Anderson wrote: “Central to Davis’ campaign was an argument about electability, where he sought to persuade Democratic voters that his more centrist policies and track record of working with Republicans could make him the likeliest candidate to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands.”

Davis has held a seat in the state Senate since 2013. Davis was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 but lost his re-election bid in the 2010 general election. Davis ran unopposed in the 2012 state Senate primary and general elections. Davis said, “As a veteran, a minister, and a state senator, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gone to work for our neighbors and families. When I am sworn in as our next congressman, we will focus on the fight ahead — transforming the future of our region and rural America.” He has campaigned on rebuilding the rural economy and said he would “continue to fight for affordable healthcare, voting rights and protect a woman’s right to choose” in Congress.

Smith served in the North Carolina Senate from 2015 to 2020. Smith filed to run for U.S. Senate in 2022, but switched her candidacy to the U.S. House following Butterfield’s retirement announcement in November 2021. Smith campaigned on what she called a platform for progress, which she said included raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, supporting small, family farms, and investing in fisheries and wind energy. Smith said, “For three terms as a State Senator I fought for a more progressive, democratic North Carolina. I fought to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, make it easier to vote, secure a woman’s right to choose, provide rural broadband, expand Medicaid, and more. Now I’m running for Congress, because I’ve seen enough of the state and the country to know that the problems I originally identified in my own rural county are everywhere.”

Jullian Bishop Sr. and Jason Spriggs also ran in the election.

Three independent race forecasters consider the general election to Lean Democratic.



Sandy Smith wins North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Sandy Smith defeated Sandy Roberson and six other candidates in the Republican Party primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not run for re-election

Smith was the Republican nominee for the district’s 2020 general election, winning the Republican primary with 77.3% of the vote. She lost Butterfield in the general election, receiving 45.8% of the vote to Butterfield’s 54.2%. “The Democrats are scared of me,” Smith said. “I have fulfilled my first campaign promise of 2020 and that was to send G.K. Butterfield packing…If I had not done so well he would be still running today.” Smith worked as a business executive and farmer. “I’m the America First fighter and I am going to go to Washington and fight for you,” Smith said.

Roberson was elected Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 2019. He also served as managing partner of Health View Capital Partners. Roberson said he “made a career of getting things done, delivering results, meeting budgets, and holding others accountable” and would “prioritize fiscal responsibility, defend our Second Amendment rights, and protect the sanctity of life” and “ensure the needs of American citizens always come first and empower law enforcement to do their job.”

Will Aiken, Brad Murphy, Ernest Reeves, Brent Roberson, Billy Strickland, and Henry Williams also ran in the Republican primary.

Butterfield represented the district since winning the 2004 general election, defeating Greg Dority (R) 64-36%. The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.



North Carolina Secretary of State raises $24,928 this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has raised $24,928 and spent $19,825 between Jan. 1, 2021 and Apr. 30, 2022. 

Marshall is a member of the Democratic Party and assumed office in 1996. In North Carolina, the secretary of state is an elected position. Duties vary by state but are generally administrative in nature and may include recordkeeping, certification of state documents, and serving as chief election official. Marshall’s current term ends in 2025.

Marshall’s reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2017-2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Marshall

Of the $24,928 already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 48.14 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Marshall (1/1/2021 – 4/30/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$3,000.00NC Realtors PACENTITY
2.$1,000.00James a PenryINDIVIDUAL
3.$1,000.00James C GulickINDIVIDUAL
4.$1,000.00Joseph K GordonINDIVIDUAL
5.$1,000.00Larry E RobbinsINDIVIDUAL
6.$1,000.00Rodney S MaddoxINDIVIDUAL
7.$1,000.00Smedes G YorkINDIVIDUAL
8.$1,000.00Van Ellen EureINDIVIDUAL
9.$1,000.00William J Austin JrINDIVIDUAL
10.$1,000.00William W TooleINDIVIDUAL

Expenditures by Marshall

On the expenditures side, Marshall reported $19,825, with 96.25 percent of all spending going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Marshall (1/1/2021 – 4/30/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$6,500.00RR CampaignsENTITY
2.$4,440.00Ngp Van IncENTITY
3.$4,050.00Integrated Solutions: PoliticalENTITY
4.$1,700.00North Carolina Democratic Party – BuildingENTITY
5.$600.00Mail ChimpENTITY
6.$500.00Side Street CafeENTITY
7.$408.00United States Postal ServiceENTITY
8.$375.00Empire Tenent – Empire PropertiesENTITY
9.$282.47Vantiv LLCENTITY
10.$225.89Act BlueENTITY

How donations to Marshall compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how Marshall compares to the 10 other state and commonwealth secretaries with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 secretaries of state are members of the Republican Party and 20 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the secretary of state in 35 states, while they are appointed by either the governor or state legislature in the other 12. Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah do not have secretaries of state. In 2022, 27 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active North Carolina PACs submitted to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Semiannual1/28/2022
2022 Q1 Plus5/10/2022
2022 Semiannual (only candidates not on 2022 ballot)7/29/2022
2022 Q3 Plus10/31/2022
2022 Q41/11/2023
2022 Year End Semiannual (only candidates not on 2022 ballot)1/27/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Bo Hines wins the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Bo Hines defeated DeVan Barbour IV, Kelly Daughtry, Renee Ellmers, Kent Keirsey, and three other candidates in the primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) ran for the U.S. Senate and did not seek re-election.

Hines, a former college football player for North Carolina State University, interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines said there was a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) endorsed Hines.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map had an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Also running in the primary were Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate had won more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff would have been held on July 26.

Hines will face Wiley Nickel (D) in the general election.



Budd wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Ted Budd defeated Pat McCrory, Mark Walker, and eleven other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) did not run for re-election.

The primary was among the first U.S. Senate races in which former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed a candidate. Intelligencer’s Ed Kilgore wrote, “[North Carolina is] a particularly big deal for Trump, whose midterm strategy is to show his clout in both primary and general-election races.”

Budd, the owner of a gun range and store in Rural Hall, has represented North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District since 2017. Trump endorsed Budd in June 2021, and Budd focused on his support for Trump and Trump’s record. Budd’s website said, “Ted was elected to Congress along with President Donald Trump in 2016 and has established a strong, conservative record supporting efforts to secure our borders and stand up for America First policies.”

McCrory was governor from 2013 to 2017. Before that, McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. McCrory focused on economic issues and highlighted his record as governor. McCrory’s website said he “turned around North Carolina’s economy from the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest for job growth.”

Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and was a pastor for 16 years before that. Walker said he was a conservative warrior and a bridge-builder. Walker said, “[O]ut of 1,000 elected Republicans in North Carolina, I’m the only one to speak or give a commencement address at one of our state’s HBCU’s, and I’m the only Republican in all of Congress to win the United Negro College President’s Award.”

McCrory and Walker criticized Budd for not participating in a number of public events, including several debates. Jordan Shaw, a strategist for McCrory, said, “US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions.” Walker said, “[Budd] does not want to have to be on the same stage with me because it creates a contrast.”

Budd’s campaign called McCrory a career politician and criticized McCrory’s electoral performance.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R), Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (R), and the Club for Growth endorsed Budd. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R), U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) endorsed Walker. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) endorsed McCrory.

If no candidate had won more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff would have taken place on July 26.

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Republican.

Also running in the primary were Jennifer Banwart, Lee Brian, Leonard Bryant, Drew Bulecza, Marjorie K. Eastman, David Flaherty, Benjamin Griffiths, Kenneth Harper Jr., Charles Moss, Lichia Sibhatu and Debora Tshiovo.



Foushee wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District

State Sen. Valerie Foushee defeated Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, Clay Aiken, and five other candidates to win the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022.

Incumbent Rep. David Price (D)—first elected in 1986, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996—did not seek re-election. This is the first year the 4th District had been open since Rep. Nick Galifianakis (D) left office in 1972, though district lines have changed due to redistricting.

Foushee was first appointed to the North Carolina Senate in 2013 after serving in the state House. Before that, Foushee served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2012 and had been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Foushee emphasized her experience during the primary, saying “she has stood up to radical Republicans when they have attacked a woman’s right to choose, targeted our immigrant communities, and attempted to strip North Carolinians of their voting rights.”

The Assembly‘s Jeffrey Billman said that, along with satellite spending, “Including what candidates have raised themselves, the contest is the most expensive Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina history.”

Foushee and Allam both raised over $800,000 as of April 27. Additionally, eight organizations contributed $3,828,804 in satellite spending, according to Open Secrets. Most of the satellite spending—90%—went toward supporting Foushee with the remaining 10% supporting Allam.

The largest satellite spenders were:

  • United Democracy Project: an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group spent $2,128,194 supporting Foushee.
  • Protect Our Future PAC: a political action committee funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. The group spent $1,040,133 supporting Foushee.
  • Working Families Party: a spending arm of the political party by the same name. The group spent $310,640 supporting Allam.

Following redistricting, the 4th District was drawn to include portions of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. As of 2022, the district had the largest percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 (27%) and the largest percentage with a bachelor’s degree (52%) in North Carolina. Three independent race forecasters rated the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.



Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13 District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13th District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel won the May 17 Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. Five candidates were on the ballot. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) announced on April 28, 2021, that he would not seek re-election and instead run for U.S. Senate.

Nickel had served in the North Carolina State Senate representing District 16 since 2019. He also worked as a criminal defense attorney. Before his election to public office, Nickel worked in several district attorney offices and in the White House as advance staff for former President Barack Obama (D). Nickel described his candidacy, saying, “I’ve seen the power of a nation’s hope. I’ve also seen the hard work it takes to make real change. I’m proud to be running on my strong record of work on climate solutions, wealth inequality, and human rights as a North Carolina State Senator.”

Jamie Campbell Bowles (D), Nathan Click (D), Denton Lee (D), Sam Searcy (D) also ran.

The district lines of North Carolina’s 13th changed substantially after redistricting, with the new district containing none of the old 13th district. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old 13th district had an R+38 lean, while the new district has an R+3 lean.

The News & Observer’s Danielle Battaglia described the new district, saying, “Only one district of North Carolina’s congressional map is a swing district, one that’s considered viable for either a Republican or Democrat to win. It’s the 13th Congressional District, and it encompasses all of Johnston County, the southern portion of Wake County, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties.”

Nickel will face Bo Hines (R) in the November general election. As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-up.



Incumbent Merriweather defeats Emry in Mecklenburg County district attorney race

Incumbent Spencer Merriweather defeated Tim Emry in the May 17 Democratic primary for district attorney of North Carolina’s 26th Prosecutorial District in Mecklenburg County. Merriweather received 71% of the vote to Emry’s 29%.

No Republicans ran for the office.

Merriweather said that under his leadership, the district attorney’s office had “focused on the most serious and violent offenses” and that he had “implemented new strategies to confront violent crime … creating special units that prioritize the prosecution of gun crimes, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.” The Charlotte Observer’s Michael Gordon wrote, “Asked what distinguishes him from Emry, Merriweather describes himself as a proven reformer who remains committed to the law, a safer community and building on what he describes as ‘a career of experience serving victims.'”

The Charlotte Post, which endorsed Merriweather, described him as a “thoughtful pragmatist who has balanced policy reforms and alternatives to prosecution with efforts to keep a growing urban community safe.” The Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg also endorsed Merriweather.

Emry, a criminal defense attorney and former Mecklenburg County assistant public defender, said, “The number one pillar of our campaign is holding the police accountable when they break the law.” Emry said another priority would be to “immediately stop the mass incarceration policies of the current DA’s office and begin to pursue racial justice.” He also said he would “never seek the death penalty,” saying, “Too often in this country, we have sentenced the wrong people to death. … Well, my opponent supports the death penalty.”

Real Justice PAC, which says it “has been at the forefront of local elections, ushering in prosecutors who have promised to transform a criminal legal system that is racist, oppressive, and preys on the poor and marginalized,” endorsed Emry. The group’s endorsement said Emry ran “as a progressive challenge to the left of the incumbent” and that he ran to “bring genuine change to the criminal justice system in Mecklenburg and to end the failed status quo policies.”



Madison Cawthorn loses re-election bid in NC-11 to state Sen. Chuck Edwards

State Sen. Chuck Edwards won the May 17 Republican primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Eight candidates were on the ballot. Based on unofficial returns, Edwards received 33.4% of the vote while incumbent Madison Cawthorn received 31.9% of the vote.

Cawthorn is the third U.S. Representative to lose a primary this year. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.V.) lost a Republican primary to Rep. Alexander Mooney after the two ran in the same district following redistricting, while Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) remained on the ballot after he unofficially withdrew from his re-election race.

Cawthorn was first elected to Congress in 2020. Cawthorn’s campaign website identified him as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of former President Donald Trump (R) and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda. Cawthorn said that groups from across the political spectrum want to defeat him: “the radical left, the establishment, and the media want to take me down . . . I won’t stop fighting. I won’t bow to the mob. They want to silence the America First movement. I’m not going anywhere.”

Edwards was first elected to the North Carolina State Senate in 2016. Edwards told Jewish Insider that although he supported Cawthorn and wanted him to succeed, Edwards “feel[s] that Western North Carolina can do better.” Edwards accused Cawthorn of increasing political tensions and criticized Cawthorn for suggesting supporters threaten House members to overturn the 2020 election results. Edwards contrasted his legislative experience to Cawthorn’s, highlighting in particular sponsorship of a bill that banned sanctuary cities in North Carolina and working on the state’s balanced budget.

Trump endorsed Cawthorn for re-election on March 31, 2021. Following Cawthorn’s claims in late March 2022 that lawmakers in Washington use cocaine and hold orgies, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) endorsed Edwards. Tillis said Cawthorn “has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives.” Cawthorn, who said his claims were exaggerated, also drew criticism from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the remarks.

Edwards is expected to win the Nov. 8 general election. At the time of the primary election, three independent race forecasters rated the general election either Safe Republican or Solid Republican. At the time of the primary, the 11th Congressional District contained all or parts of 15 counties in western North Carolina, including the city of Asheville.

Also running in the primary were Matthew Burril, Rod Honeycutt, Wendy Nevarez, Bruce O’Connell, Kristie Sluder, and Michele Woodhouse.