This year's Triangle congressional races underscored the importance of money in political campaigns.
Fourth District Democratic incumbent David Price out spent his Republican challenger B.J. Lawson by $1.3 million to $465,127 and 13th Democratic Rep. Brad Miller out spent his GOP challenger $881,961 to $197,456, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that monitors campaign finance.
Neither race was close.
Only in the second district, was the race competitive – and so was the money. Republican Renee Ellmers raised $1.1 million and spent $700,000 compared to Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge who raised $1.3 million and spent $1.8 million., according to the center. Ellmers, of course, upset Etheridge.
About $359,000 of the money spent on behalf of Ellmers was an independent TV campaign run by a conservative group out of the Washington D.C. area called Americans for Job Security.
Price's biggest category of contributors came from lawyers($63,777), education ($54,645), pharmaceuticals/health products($38,450), public sector unions ($37,000) defense electronics ($26,000) industrial unions ($25,000) defense aerospace ($21,000) and business services ($20,950) according to the center.
Miller's biggest contributions came from lawyers ($107,850) insurance ($54,500), industrial unions ($45,000) public sector unions ($41,000) real estate ($34,149) securities and investment ($28,500) and building trade unions ($20,500,) according to the center.
A major difference between incumbents and non incumbents is money from political action committees, which heavily favor incumbents. Price received $436,250 from PACs, while Lawson received $9,425. Miller received $448,300 from PACs, while Randall received $7,400.