Politics & Government

Democrat keeps $300,000 lead in SC Congress race

Joe Cunningham and Katie Arrington
Joe Cunningham and Katie Arrington

Heading into the final weeks of the race for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House, Charleston Democrat Joe Cunningham has a lead in the fundraising race over Republican Katie Arrington of more than $300,000.

Cunningham reported raising $865,199 between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Arrington, meanwhile, reported raising $539,477 in the third quarter as part of a competitive congressional race in South Carolina’s 1st District.

Cunningham, a Charleston attorney, reported spending $631,017 in the same period.

Arrington of Summerville, a first-term member of the S.C. House, reported spending $256,094 during the three-month period in her filing with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

Cunningham also has a hefty lead in cash on hand, with $543,125 available to spend in the last three weeks of the campaign in the Lowcountry district. Arrington had a total of $339,006 on hand and $344,600 in outstanding debt.

Arrington upset U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, in the GOP primary in June, after the former S.C. governor left $1.5 million unspent in his campaign account in his re-election bid for the House.

Cunningham has held a fundraising lead for much of the year, raising a total of $1.6 million compared to $845,903 for Arrington.

In August, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it was putting resources behind Cunningham as part of its “Red to Blue” program targeting vulnerable Republicans, signaling it thinks the 1st District potentially could be flipped if a “blue wave” elects a crop of new Democrats in November.

Arrington’s campaign momentarily was halted in June, when she was hospitalized after a head-on car crash shortly after the GOP primary. The accident gave Arrington national attention, however, including a sit-down with President Donald Trump in July.

Cunningham also briefly stopped campaigning in the aftermath of Arrington’s accident.