Rivals to North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary outspent his campaign in the first seven weeks of 2024, according to finance reports that were due this week.

Through mid-February, Robinson continued to outpace fellow GOP candidates trial attorney Bill Graham and State Treasurer Dale Folwell in overall outside donations received and spending during this election cycle.

But Folwell and Graham, buoyed by self-financing of their campaigns, reported spending more than Robinson in recent weeks as absentee and early in-person voting began.

In next week's five-person Democratic primary for governor, Attorney General Josh Stein continued to put up big numbers and had the most cash in his campaign coffers of any gubernatorial candidate. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited from seeking reelection.

Graham's campaign told the State Board of Election that it received $1.82 million between Jan. 1 and Feb. 17 — almost all coming from personal loans — and spent $1.87 million, with the lion's share going to advertising buys. Graham has loaned his campaign $4.5 million since entering the race in October — in keeping with his previously announced plans to spend personal funds.

Folwell's campaign reported spending $896,100 during the truncated reporting period and collecting $94,700. The campaign said it spent $500,000 on social media advertising.

Robinson's campaign reported raising $716,900 during the period and spending $563,200. The campaign's finances include no personal loans.

Looking back to early 2021, Robinson's campaign committee has raised close to $10.7 million. Graham has collected $4.7 million overall and Folwell over $1.4 million, of which $1 million came from a personal loan.

Robinson, who has support from former President Donald Trump, had $4.4 million in his campaign coffers entering the primary campaign's final weeks. That was second only to Stein's campaign, who reported having $12.7 million. Both primary frontrunners have accumulated funds in part to prepare for a general election contest.

The Josh Stein for North Carolina campaign reported raising nearly $2.2 million during the first seven weeks of 2024 and spending $951,700. The campaign committee has collected $19.1 million since early 2021.

Stein's chief rival in the Democratic primary is former state Supreme Court Associate Justice Mike Morgan. His campaign reported collecting $33,700 for January and the first half of February, on top of $119,300 that had been previously raised. The campaign had $44,300 in cash entering the primary's final weeks.

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