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Perdue, McCrory Each Raise $1M+ For 2012 Campaigns

The two most likely candidates for North Carolina governor in 2012 are already raising significant money: Governor Bev Perdue's re-election campaign reports pocketing $1.3 million in the first half of this year. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory raised just over a million. The general election is still 16 months away and nobody's officially joined the race for North Carolina governor, but Catawba College political science professor Michael Bitzer says the fundraising numbers make the leading candidates clear. "We've speculated for a long time about whether it's gonna be a rematch of '08," says Bitzer. "This pretty much solidifies it. Nobody can really come out with numbers to even be close to that." Democrat Bev Perdue's 2008 defeat of Republican Pat McCrory was the state's closest gubernatorial race in 36 years. Both are sending signals to their parties - and to donors - that "the race is on for 2012," says Bitzer. Perdue raised about $320,000 more than McCrory during the last six months. The fact that both have already raised more than a million dollars suggests "this will probably be the most expensive gubernatorial race in North Carolina history," says Bitzer. Bitzer says the last race for governor didn't see candidate fundraising totals like this until the early months of 2008. McCrory's campaign eventually raised a total of $6.6 million, while Perdue more than doubled that with $15 million.