The latest fundraising numbers are in, and for the Buncombe County GOP, it’s not a pretty picture. The local Democratic Party has raised more than twice as much money this year, with nearly 700 individual donors and almost $47,000 taken in between Jan. 1 and Oct. 16, according to reports filed with the State Board of Elections. The Republican Party raised just over $19,000 in the same time frame — and in the two months before the Nov. 2 election, the local GOP collected only $990 — all of it in September. The report shows no contributions in October.
Graphic by Michael Muller
September and October are typically crucial months for political parties as they concentrate on raising money for get-out-the-vote efforts. The Buncombe County Republican Party held two major fundraisers during this period: one featuring a rappelling event on the anniversary of 9/11 and an Oct. 4 telethon on Charter Cable.
Neither lived up to expectations; the 9/11 fundraiser generated just $310 and the telethon — despite assurances by Chairman Chad Nesbitt that it would raise between $250,000 – $300,000 — produced just $250, according to Treasurer Dorothea Alderfer. These results are also at odds with what the party chair said at an Oct. 12 League of Women Voters forum. When Xpress staff reporter Jake Frankel asked how the telethon had gone, Nesbitt said: “It was a huge success. We got a tremendous amount of phone calls in regards to it. I’m not sure the exact amount we’ve taken in so far. It’ll be in our report that we give to the Board of Elections.” According to the report, however, the lone $250 contribution was actually made Sept. 29 — five days before the telethon aired.
In contrast, the Democratic Party raised $11,664 in September and October.
February was the best month for both parties: Republicans raised $10,161, and Democrats generated $18,816.
Here are some clips from the Buncombe County Republican Party’s Oct. 4 telethon: