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Hopefuls tap own money
Work to get out the vote
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Forsyth County News
About $20,000 separates each of the three candidates vying for the District 24 state House seat vacated by Tom Knox.

Mike Dudgeon has raised $43,515, including a $15,000 personal loan. Anna McManus has raised $21,185, including a $5,000 personal loan, while Doug Wright has raised $1,025.

Wright has also spent nearly $5,000 of his own money on his campaign by leasing a golf cart and buying decorations, business cards and a printer.

“I’m willing to go through it myself at this point to show people that I really want to be their representative — period,” he said. “And I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

“My strategy is that I’m going to meet the voters face to face. I’m talking to people, I’m shaking their hands ... I’m getting to know the district and the folks that are in it.”

McManus said she fell short of the goal she set for herself in raising funds.

“With the economy the way it is, people just don’t have the money to contribute like they did years ago in the same races,” she said. “I’ve used more of my own money than I originally anticipated.”

McManus, who has served as a leader of the local Republican Party for more than 20 years, said a successful campaign doesn’t revolve around money.

Her goal in the next few days is to “keep getting our message in front of as many people as we can, networking door to door, grassroots — just the same stuff that you’re seeing a lot of people do.”

Among McManus’ donors are Forsyth delegates District 51 state Sen. Chip Pearson and District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy. Pearson gave $1,000 and Murphy contributed $300.

Dudgeon said he “was surprised” to see the legislative support for McManus. But in the long run, he said, it won’t matter.

“We had a budget and we raised money to meet the budget,” Dudgeon said. “ I was happy with that. I was happy especially because we got a whole bunch of different people contributing.”

Dudgeon, who serves on the county’s school board, received support from previous and current school board candidates, including Larry Duckworth, Tim Plotner and board chairwoman Ann Crow, who is running for re-election this year.

Dudgeon said he plans to spend the next few days “sending 100 percent positive, non-negative campaigning and to get the message out with mail and phone calls to get out the vote.”

With no Democrats or independent candidates running for the District 24 seat, the winner of the July 20 primary will claim the post.