Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane loaned her campaign $235,000 over the four months leading up to her decisive victory in the October city election, according to new filings made available by the Wake County Board of Elections.
The final candidate disclosure reports show that McFarlane relied heavily on her own resources to defeat Billie Redmond and Randall Williams. Early on, some election-watchers speculated the race would go to a runoff given the difficulty of earning more than 50 percent of the vote in a three-person field.
But strong support for McFarlane obliterated any need for a second round of balloting. McFarlane earned 61 percent of the vote compared to 29 percent for Redmond and 9 percent for Williams.
McFarlane took office Dec. 5 as the successor to Mayor Charles Meeker, who did not seek a record sixth consecutive term. McFarlane previously represented North Raleigh for two terms in the City Council's District A seat.
The self-funding began June 30 - the week after Redmond entered the race- when McFarlane gave her campaign an initial loan of $20,000, records show.
As the election drew closer, McFarlane followed up with a $50,000 check on Aug. 5; a $25,000 check on Sept. 20, a $50,000 check on Sept. 27; a $50,000 check on Oct. 3 and a $10,000 check on Oct. 4.
McFarlane has not yet paid off any of the loans, according to the records.
The new mayor has had success in the business world. She's the founder of MedPro Rx, a specialty pharmaceutical services company that did $56.2 million in sales in 2010, according to Inc. Magazine.
The loans nearly double what McFarlane raised from donors. The campaign took in $119,500 in contributions, the filings show.
Among her expenditures, McFarlane paid $77,000 to Raleigh-based White & Satterfield for direct mail, signs and TV production. She bought $9,500 in advertisements on Google and $765 in advertising in the Independent Weekly, to name two examples. But the biggest expense was on television, where McFarlane spent $86,354 through a media buying firm for advertising on Time Warner Cable, records show.
On an interesting side note, one of the McFarlane campaign's final expenditures came in December when McFarlane's husband, Ron, donated $732.18 to help pay for food and drinks at the City Council's swearing-in celebration. The city spent a total of $2,000 on the ceremony, which featured fruit and cheese trays and light refreshments. Two years ago, Raleigh officials were criticized for spending $9,800 on a reception that included antipasti, hibachi beef skewers and curried chicken kabobs.
McFarlane spent a total of $362,879 on the campaign, leaving her with $6,795 in cash on hand.
Redmond outraised McFarlane in terms of contributions from donors, taking in $220,693, records show. The real estate executive also received $13,000 from political committees. Redmond spent $239,000 on her campaign.
Williams, a physician and newcomer to city politics, spent $56,250 on his campaign, all of which came from individual donors.