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Yadkin Valley News

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lieutenant governor candidates Ellmer, Johnson, others lend their own campaigns funds


By Elle Johnson | Mar 22, 2020

Vote 04
Democratic and Republican lieutenant governor candidates have been loaning their campaign money then paying themselves back. | Stock photo

Lieutenant governor candidates have been loaning their campaign money to win over North Carolina voters. 

One candidate borrows money from himself then pays it back. He has been doing this at crucial moments to support his fundraising. Another candidates loaned his campaign $500,000. A third candidate said his reports are "really messed up" and said he would fix it even though he loan himself no money, according to WRAL

There were 15 candidates in the North Carolina primary election on March 3. Many held elected offices before, such as Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, Mark Johnson, current North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Rep. Yvonne Holley. 

Candidates sometimes use their own money right before filing deadlines, because it is part of the public release of fundraising totals. Scott Stone, a former representative, did this in his campaign last year. His campaign did pay him back within a few days. 

Last week, Stone told the news outlet he wasn't attempting to increase his numbers. 

"It's just been a very unusual cycle with nine people in the race," Stone said.

Mark Robinson, also a candidate, said, per the WRAL report, that his fundraising went well. Robinson's campaign raised $90,000 in the second half of 2019, filing reports said. 

But Robinson said his report had problems, because he first filed no expenses for the second half of 2019 then had to change it to over $85.000. Robinson said the new report still had problems, according to the media story, and is bringing in a new person to keep the campaign books. He said the report problem will be dealt with "quick, fast and in a hurry."

Robinson is now listing with negative funds and hasn't added any debts to that amount yet. 

Another $4,500 expense for "campaign apparel" was paid back to his wife. This expense was for campaign T-shirts his wife funded early on, Robinson said in an interview with WRAL. 

Sen. Andy Wells is another candidate that loaned his campaign money. In January, he loaned $500,000 and spent it on cable and radio ads, the campaign reports said. Greg Gebhardt, a Republican political consultant and a veteran, loaned $76,000 to his campaign as well. 

Johnson is one candidate who hasn't loaned his money to his campaign, but he received a $10,000 donation from a political committee that exists to help Republicans in office. Johnson is a Council of State member currently. 

Democrats also loan their campaigns money. Bill Toole gave his campaign over $280,000 and Sen. Terry Van Duyn loaned her campaign $100,000. Rep. Chaz Beasley loaned $70,000 to his fundraising and Holley loaned $1,900 to her campaign, the report said. 

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