WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick McHenry loaned $175,000 of his personal funds to his congressional campaign, a sign that the North Carolina Republican hasn't raised as much money as he thinks he needs to win re-election.
"It's nothing more than a sign that he's willing to make a personal investment in his fight for good jobs and lower gas prices for North Carolina," McHenry spokesman Brock McCleary said.
McHenry, in his second term in Congress, will face Democrat Daniel Johnson, an attorney from Hickory, in the November election.
"We think it demonstrates he's not getting the support he thinks he would need to stay competitive," Johnson spokeswoman Lauren Moore said.
Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College in Salisbury, said the loan is a warning sign that McHenry could be in trouble.
"He's either burning through it or the money just ain't rolling in," Bitzer said.
"He should have a solid base of donors to really call upon. ... It's not a good sign for an incumbent who's been there as long as he has and who has risen up in the leadership as well to be having to rely on himself to really give that much support."
McHenry raised $146,000 in the most recent reporting period that covered April 17 to June 30, the day he loaned his campaign the $175,000, giving him a cash total of $411,000, Federal Election Commission records show. Johnson raised $125,000 for the same period, and had $219,000 going into the second half of the election year.