Some state politicians spent more than half-million for $14K job, C-T’s Boyle estimates

Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle reviews information from the latest campaign-finance reports filed by North Carolina candidates for the 2012 election.

from the Asheville Citizen-Times

… Keep in mind that state senators and representatives make $13,951 a year, plus a travel stipend. So for the equivalent of a part-time job at a fast food restaurant, how much you would spend?

The campaign of State Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, who defeated Democrat John Snow for the 50th District Senate seat, took the cake. His total receipts through Oct. 20 were $807,182, and spending totaled $644,098. …

The Tim Moffitt-Jane Whilden race in south Buncombe brought in a mere $864,050, with almost $650,000 of that going to Moffitt. A Republican, Moffitt alone spent $517,705, and remember, that’s likely to go way up with the next reporting. …

“It’s a big trend we’re seeing: the professionalization of state legislative campaigns,” [Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper] said. “Every year they’re looking more and more like congressional races, which is ironic for an office that pays less than $20,000 a year. To raise and spend that much for a job that pays nothing is pretty amazing, and it pretty much ensures that only rich people can run.”

The Nathan Ramsey-Susan Wilson House race seems relatively cheap compared to the others. Ramsey, a Republican, raised $212,004 through Oct. 20 and spent $170,493, while Wilson, the Democrat, brought in $144,319 and spent $130,200. …

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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