News Column

Bibbs outspends Farmer-Butterfield 3-1

May 4, 2014

By Corey Friedman, The Wilson Daily Times, N.C.

May 04--State House candidate Mark Bibbs tripled state Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield's campaign spending this year despite raising about 40 percent less, figures show.

Bibbs supplemented the $18,000 he raised from donors with a $25,000 loan for total first-quarter proceeds of $43,000. He's spent $70,000 on the House District 24 race, according to campaign finance reports released this week.

Beginning balances gave Bibbs the financial advantage -- he opened his account with $61,643 in cash on hand, while Farmer-Butterfield started with $2,383.

The six-term Democratic state lawmaker raised $30,516 in the first quarter of 2014 and took out a $2,000 loan for total receipts of $32,518.

Former sheriff Wayne Gay and retired county manager Ellis Williford are backing Bibbs, while U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and a consortium of state political action committees buoyed Farmer-Butterfield's campaign.

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether to send Farmer-Butterfield back to Raleigh for a seventh term in the North Carolina House or replace her with Bibbs, a Wilson attorney seeking her District 24 seat. The Democratic primary winner will not face a Republican opponent in November.

Candidates for local and state offices turned in their first-quarter political committee disclosure reports on Tuesday.


Gay, who was sheriff for 28 years before Calvin Woodard Jr. toppled him in the 2010 Democratic primary, contributed $250 to Bibbs' campaign committee.

Williford, who took retirement after Wilson County commissioners voted to end his contract last October, also gave Bibbs a $250 contribution.

Business owners, executives and attorneys accounted for the bulk of Bibbs' donors. Elson S. Floyd, president of the four-campus Washington State University system based in Pullman, Wash., wrote the Bibbs campaign a check for $3,000. Retired Chapel Hill businesswoman Jo Ann Davis contributed $4,000.

E.C. Smith Jr., who is chairman and CEO of Grady-White Boats in Greenville, added $2,000 to the Bibbs war chest. Bob G. Barbour, who owns the Bob Barbour Honda dealership in Greenville, added $500.

Fellow members of the bar chipped in to support the Wilson attorney. Wilson lawyer Jim W. Phillips gave $100 and Raleigh attorney Anna Smith contributed $250, as did Tarboro attorney Teresa D. Bryant.

University of North Carolina law professor John V. Orth, Raleigh attorney R. Gene Davis Jr., Greensboro lawyer Jin Phillips and Raleigh attorney Margaret Westbrook gave $100 each. Gastonia lawyer T.J. Solomon II contributed $200 and Pitt County attorney Robert C. Kemp III gave $250. Law administrator Carol Vassey of the Kilpatrick Townsend firm in Raleigh contributed $300.

Roland Loftin, owner of Loftin Bail Bonding in Wilson, gave $500 to the Bibbs campaign. Mark W. Cartret of Sellers Bonding in Winterville added $100.

Also donating to Bibbs' campaign committee were Cary physician Marc Benavides ($200), Deborah R. Hartman, who works for Forsyth County Schools ($500), Durham banker Rodney E. Hood ($125), Charlotte investment banker Nigel L. Long ($500), Chapel Hill retiree Florence Peacock ($850), Wilson consultant Myron Smith ($200) and Chapel Hill foundation executive Thomas S. Kenan III ($250).

Bibbs also received $175 in aggregated contributions from individuals. Donors who give $50 or less are not required to provide their names, addresses and employers for campaign finance records.


The Butterfield for Congress committee made two contributions totaling $3,000 to Farmer-Butterfield's campaign. G.K. Butterfield and Jean Farmer-Butterfield were previously married and have three adult daughters together.

A six-term incumbent, Farmer-Butterfield received $13,250 from candidate committees and political action committees representing state and national interests.

The state employees' PAC gave $2,500 to her campaign and its affiliated group, the State Employees Association of North Carolina, previously endorsed Farmer-Butterfield in the primary. The Washington-based Merck Employee PAC contributed $250.

The Raleigh-based Lillian's List PAC, which supports progressive female candidates, gave Farmer-Butterfield $5,000. Other committees supporting her include the New South Leadership PAC ($3,000) and the N.C. Orthopaedic Association PAC ($500).

Howard Jones, CEO of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Wilson, gave an individual contribution of $250.

Sandra T. Blanton of Wilson, who is group employee relations manager for BB&T, gave $300 to Farmer-Butterfield's campaign. Longtime Wilson Democratic leader Betty McCain contributed $250.

Four local pastors pledged their support, including Anthony P. Cox of Wilson ($100), Solid Rock Ministries senior pastor Kenneth Lofton of Wilson ($100), Joseph N. Perry Sr. of Wilson ($100) and New Dimensions Community Church pastor Eva C. Rogers of Greenville ($200).

Wilson funeral directors Charles E. Barnes ($250), and J. Carol Stevens of Wilson ($200) also gave to Farmer-Butterfield's campaign.

Greenville City Councilwoman Rose Hill Glover gave Farmer-Butterfield an individual contribution of $100. Salisbury retiree Fred Stanback wrote a check for $5,000.

Other donors include Greenville attorney Phillip R. Dixon ($100), Wilson real estate agent Clyde P. Harris Jr. ($100), Barnes Motor & Parts president Henry Walston IV of Wilson ($100) and Earle Jones, vice president of federal affairs for Comcast ($100).

Farmer-Butterfield received an additional $175 in aggregated contributions from individuals. -- 265-7821


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Source: Wilson Daily Times (NC)