John Whitley, a Fairmont resident seeking to become the Republican Party’s nominee for District 8 in the U.S. House of Representatives, has raised about $55,000 for the campaign, according to a finance report filed recently with the Federal Election Commission.
Whitley, a neurosurgeon, is one of at least six GOP candidates expected to enter the race for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a Democrat, when the filing period for the 2012 elections begins Feb. 13. Most of Robeson County, as a result of new district boundaries drawn by the GOP-controlled General Assembly, has been moved out of the 7th District represented by Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, and put in the 8th District, which stretches from Robeson County west to Charlotte.
According to his fourth-quarter campaign finance report, which includes information through Dec. 31, 2011, Whitley raised $54,947 with the help of a $27,000 loan. At the end of the quarter, he had $29,951 in cash on hand, the report said.
Others hoping to be the GOP choice to challenge Kissell include:
— Vernon Robinson, a conservative who has previously run as a congressional candidate in North Carolina’s 5th and 13th districts. According to the recently filed report,at the end of December he reported net receipts of $354,339, with $57,000 cash on hand. That was the most money raised by any GOP candidate.
— Richard Hudson, a former congressional staffer. At the end of December, he reported having raised $260,389. Cash on hand was reported to be $238,346.
— Daniel Barry, the mayor pro tem of Weddington. According to reports, as of Dec. 31 he had raised more than $126,000, and had a cash balance on hand of $78,707.
— Scott Keadle, a dentist from Iredell County. According to his report, as of Dec. 31 he had net receipts of $173,165 and $108,643 in cash on hand.
— Fred Steen, a state representative from Rowan County. Steen entered the race in December. According to his campaign finance report, by the end of December he had raised $20,260 and had more than $19,000 cash on hand.
Because the 8th District now has more Republicans and fewer Democrats, Kissell’s re-election is expected to be an uphill battle. So far, Kissell has no Democratic challengers.
According to his campaign finance report, as of Dec. 31 Kissell had raised about $527,000. Cash on hand going into the new year was almost $352,000.
In the 7th District, two Republicans are battling to become their party’s nominee to unseat McIntyre. In the wake of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s recent announcement that she will not seek re-election, McIntyre has said he is considering running for the state’s top executive position.
According to his finance report, McIntyre as of Dec. 31 had a war chest of $687,000 to begin his re-election campaign. During 2011 he raised more than $862,000, the report said.
Those GOP candidates actively campaigning for the 7th District seat are:
— Ilario Pantano, a former U.S. Marine who came close to defeating McIntyre in 2010. According to his report, as of Dec. 31 he had raised just under $251,000 and had almost $9,000 of cash on hand.
— David Rouzer, a state senator representing Johnston and Wayne counties. His report states that as of Dec. 31 he had net receipts of $288,941 and cash on hand of $221,042.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or email@example.com.