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jct74
05-28-2016, 03:00 PM
GOP mega-donor backs eastern NC Rep. Jones’ primary foe

BY ANNA DOUGLAS
MAY 27, 2016 6:35 PM

The No. 2 Republican mega-donor in the country has again waded into politics in eastern North Carolina, where a spirited rematch is unfolding between a longtime congressman and a challenger nearly half his age.

Paul Singer, a New York-based hedge fund manager, has put his money behind challenger Taylor Griffin – one of U.S. Rep. Walter Jones’ primary challengers who came close to forcing the seasoned House member into a runoff two years ago. Singer is the second-largest Republican donor so far in the 2016 election cycle with his contributions to GOP and conservative candidates, groups and committees totaling more than $11.3 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Jones, from Farmville, is seeking an 11th term during a tough political climate for incumbents.

A third candidate, Phil Law, a Marine Corps veteran from Jacksonville, also threatens to pull votes away from Jones in the June 7 primary. But Law lags badly behind in fundraising – a necessity for political newcomers to raise their name recognition.

Both Law and Griffin have ran strong ground games in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, knocking on doors, attending community events and calling likely Republican voters.

Singer’s money and influence has helped even the playing field for Griffin’s bid against Jones. A big-time donor to groups like the conservative Club for Growth and those who advocate for immigration reforms, Singer also supported Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign before the Florida politician dropped out.

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