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Runoff spending depletes Meadows' campaign account

The runoff in the 11th Congressional District forced Republican nominee Mark Meadows to deplete his campaign war chests as the winner heads into the general election.

Meadows, a businessman from Highlands, had raised $494,000 by the end of June but spent $460,000, leaving just $33,718 cash on hand, and that was before spending in the last five weeks of the campaign. Meadows put up a phone bank that made 15,000 calls in the final weeks before the election on Tuesday and also financed a poll.

Patterson, a factory owner from Morganton, raised $321,000 and spent $318,000, leaving him with $6,342.

Both candidates spent large amounts of their own money on the campaign, $264,000 for Meadows and $311,000 for Patterson.

The runoff spending put the Republicans behind Democrat Hayden Rogers, who reported a strong second quarter fundraising total of $175,000 and ended the period with $192,000 in the bank.

“For the second quarter in a row, hundreds of voters in Western North Carolina have thrown their support behind our message and added their name to our grassroots campaign,” Rogers, the chief of staff for incumbent Rep. Heath Shuler, said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the strength of our campaign and shows we have the support and trust of the people of Western North Carolina to win in November.”

The Rogers campaign received donations from 263 individual contributors, including 250 first-time contributors, his campaign said. More than 70 percent of the individual contributors to the Rogers campaign live in Western North Carolina.

Rogers reported that 63 percent of his campaign cash had come from individuals, compared with 40 percent for Meadows and 3 percent for Patterson.

Meadows and his supporters say they’re not too concerned about the funding gap. The 11th is now a strongly Republican district, and most congressional prognosticators show the district leaning Republican.

“We’ve got five or six fundraisers set up after the primary,” Meadows said. “And in truth people are lot more judicious in giving when they’re not sure if you’re going to be the nominee We’ve set a number of fundraisers in anticipation that we’ll make it through.”

Meadows said he also expected to get a boost from the national party and leaders in Washington.