Western North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler’s third quarter campaign financing report indicates that the 11th Congressional race may actually be competitive next fall, as the two term incumbent raised only $87,178. Meanwhile, two GOP candidates vying for his seat, district attorney Jeff Hunt and Jackson County’s Mark Meadows posted impressive gains in the last quarter, each taking in more than Shuler. Democratic challenger and Asheville City-Councilman Cecil Bothwell took in a surprising $16,500 from individual contributions as well, besting Shuler by more than $6,000 in that particular category.
The campaign cycle is still in its infant stages and Shuler has already raised over $400,000 for his reelection bid next year. Although it is difficult to make predictions about the 2012 Congressional race from one quarter of fundraising, we can at least take a deeper look into the campaign finances of Shuler and his opponents.