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Forest Ahead In GOP Gov Cash Race, But Cooper Lapping Field

Dan Forest and Roy Cooper lead in the North Carolina governor fundraising race.

RALEIGH — Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest was well ahead of his primary rival for North Carolina governor when it comes to fundraising as 2020 began. But Democratic incumbent Roy Cooper lapped them both taking in money.

Cooper for North Carolina reported bringing in nearly $4 million in the second half of 2019, raising his amount collected since 2017 to $11.6 million, according to data posted at the State Board of Elections. These numbers compare to the $1.4 million that the Friends of Dan Forest committee reported raising for the six months ending Dec. 31 and $4.1 million during the cycle.

The six-month campaign reports were due late last week.

Cooper's cash advantage in early January also was strong. The governor's campaign had $8.3 million in its coffers, while Forest had $933,000. Forest, who is in a competitive primary with state Rep. Holly Grange, recorded almost $200,000 more in expenses during the six-month period than Cooper had.

Grange's campaign reported raising $106,000 during the second half of 2019 and had $27,000 in cash available. She announced her gubernatorial bid in July.

Cooper also has a primary challenge in Ernest Reeves of Greenville. His campaign reported no cash on hand in late December.

Primary elections are March 3.