WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre has more than $600,000 in a campaign war chest, but no plans for a campaign. The Lumberton native who is in his ninth term as the representative in the 7th District in the U.S. House is not giving many hints on how the money will be spent.
McIntyre, a Blue Dog Democrat, announced Jan. 8 he would not seek a 10th term.
“There are different options and we have yet to explore which option we’ll choose,” McIntyre spokesman Andrew Simpson said in a statement.
According to its Jan. 16 filing with the Federal Election Commission, the “Mike McIntyre for Congress” campaign had $633,021 in available cash as of Dec. 31. As of Sept. 30, the end of the third quarter, McIntyre’s campaign reported $523,890 in cash on hand.
The latest filing also showed that of the $633,021 in cash on hand as of Dec. 31, more than $184,000 had come from campaign contributions made during the last three months of 2013.
Simpson said that McIntyre continued to raise money for his campaign through late December.
“We were not finding it hard to raise money,” he said.
According to FEC regulations, McIntyre has to decide if he will distribute his campaign funds to one or more non-profits, return it to those who contributed to the campaign, or give it to other candidates or a national political party. He is not permitted to spend any of the money for personal use, Simpson said.
Simpson said that it is unlikely that McIntyre will choose to use his money to support other candidates.
“We have traditionally stayed out of other races because we have friends on both sides of the aisle,” Simpson said in his statement to The Robesonian. “We do not plan to change that practice.”
McIntyre, 57, a lawyer, is considered one of the last conservative Democrats still serving in Congress. He cited his reason for not seeking re-election as a “personal and professional decision.”
Although he has not announced his future plans, there is some speculation that McIntyre has his eye on a run for governor or the U.S. Senate. With the recent announcement that state Sen. Michael Walters will not seek re-election this year to his
District 13 seat, which includes Robeson and Columbus counties, there are some who believe McIntyre may run for the state Senate.
The redrawing of McIntyre’s 7th District by the Republican-controlled General Assembly to include little of Robeson County and make it more favorable to GOP candidates, almost led to McIntyre’s defeat in 2012. In that race, the closest race for a U.S. House seat in the country, McIntyre won re-election by about 600 votes over Republican David Rouzer from Johnston County.
McIntyre this year was expected to face another strong challenge from Rouzer, who is a state senator. The National Republican Party is targeting the 7th District seat this year as one that could be won by a Republican in an effort to build on the GOP’s margin in the House of Representatives.