Dem says he raised $1.6M for campaign in contested North Carolina district

Democrat Dan McCready announced Tuesday that he raised $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2019 for his bid to represent North Carolina’s contested 9th Congressional District.

The strong first-quarter showing for McCready, a Marine Corps veteran, comes as he prepares for his second campaign in less than a year.

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He faced off for the House seat last year against Republican Mark HarrisMark HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election North Carolina race raises 2020 red flags for Republicans, Democrats MORE, who initially led McCready by 905 votes. But allegations of pervasive election fraud raised concerns about the integrity of that vote, prompting state election officials in February to call a new election.

Harris said after the decision that he would not mount a second bid for the seat, which has been in Republican hands since the 1960s. President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE carried the district by nearly 12 points in 2016.

In an email on Tuesday, McCready’s campaign said it ended the first quarter of 2019 with $1.46 million cash on hand. The average donation size, according to the campaign, was about $41, a number McCready touted as a sign of grass-roots enthusiasm for his candidacy.

“This is just one more sign of the incredible energy and momentum we’re seeing on the ground as we head into the special election,” McCready said in a statement.

“Let this be a warning to every politician who turned a blind eye to election fraud and corruption. We aren’t just talking about taking our state back. We’re doing it. This is just the beginning.”

Candidates have until April 15 to file their first-quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission, but some campaigns have chosen to release their totals early to project strength or momentum.

McCready is the only Democrat vying for the 9th District House seat. Meanwhile, 10 Republicans are competing in a primary for the chance to face McCready in the new general election. That primary is slated for May 14.

The general election is currently set for Sept. 10. But if the Republican primary fails to yield a clear nominee — a candidate must win at least 30 percent to secure the nomination — a runoff primary will be held on Sept. 10 and the general election will be pushed back to Nov. 5.