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Butterfield Endorses Lewis

While the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is openly backing former state Sen. Cal Cunningham in North Carolina’s Senate primary, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D) has decided to throw his support behind underdog attorney Kenneth Lewis (D).

Lewis, who, like Butterfield, is black, is a Winston-Salem native who clerked for a former state Supreme Court justice and has worked in law firms in Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham. Lewis served as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, and last year helped lead financial operations for Obama in the Tar Heel State.

“Ken Lewis’ experience in business and community development make him uniquely qualified to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate,” Butterfield said in an endorsement statement released through Lewis’ campaign. “We share a heartfelt belief in the responsibility of making a difference in the lives of others and in our communities.”

Lewis has yet to release his fourth quarter fundraising report. He had $184,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

Cunningham, who didn’t announce his candidacy until Dec. 7, has said his campaign brought in $320,000 by Dec. 31.

Also in the race is North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) who, according to her own polling data from November, held a healthy lead just over six months before the primary. Marshall, who ran in the 2002 open-seat race but finished a disappointing third in the primary, ended the third quarter with $164,000 in cash on hand.

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