WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — They say politics makes strange bedfellows. A candidate for Wilmington City Council is finding that out the hard way after we’ve uncovered a campaign record that says if he died, he wanted to give his campaign money to a controversial county commissioner.
Among the many documents candidates have to fill out is the Candidate Designation of Committee Funds, which says where any leftover campaign money would go if they die. Some council candidates want their funds to go to non-profits or political parties. One candidate, though, originally designated his funds to New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger’s campaign.
Joshua Fulton is the youngest candidate for Wilmington City Council. He’s a fiscally-conservative graduate student at UNCW who says he re-designated his funds after Berger became the center of numerous controversies.
Fulton refused to talk on camera, but in a statement to WWAY said: “In February, I designated Brian Berger’s campaign as the beneficiary of any campaign funds I might have in the event of my death. At that time, like the more than 30,000 people who voted for him, I thought Brian was going to be a voice for limited government and fiscal responsibility. As a result of his personal and political actions, I thought it was best to disassociate myself with him. I wish Brian well and hope he can be a voice for fiscally responsible, limited government on the county commission.”
Fulton made Berger’s campaign his beneficiary in February. Between February and July, when Fulton changed the designation, Berger was arrested, was involved in a car accident with questions about his insurance, got into arguments with fellow commissioners and was late or did not show up to several meetings. It was also discovered that Berger, who claimed to own his own consulting business, was collecting unemployment.
After all of the public drama, Fulton said Berger was not who he thought he was. His funds would now go to the United Way.
Fellow council candidate Margaret Haynes also chose a charity: the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services.
Ronald Sparks wants his money split between Ephesus Junior Academy and the Red Cross.
Laura Padgett’s cash would go to the Making Waves Foundation of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority.
Two candidates, Frank Meares and Neil Anderson, decided to give money back to contributors.
Napier Fuller would give his funds to the New Hanover County Republican Party.
Candidates Ricky Meeks and Matthew Hinson have not filed a Candidate Designation of Committee Funds form, because their campaign coffers are below the $1,000 threshold.