WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The latest filing with the Federal Election Commission shows Republican Congressional candidate Ilario Pantano's campaign has only $8,912.24 cash on hand.
Pantano's campaign spent more than $93,000 between October 1 and December 31, 2011 and nearly $275,000 since he announced his run for office. The report also says the campaign is in debt more than $51,000. He raised $65,000 the final quarter of the year.
Pantano's primary opponent, state Sen. David Rouzer, has more than $221,000 cash on hand, spent almost $54,000 the last three months of last year and is only in debt $6,400. He raised $83,000.
"FEC filings released today show that 2010 conservative GOP nominee Ilario Pantano has surged 10 percent in his best fundraising quarter of 2011," Pantano's campaign said in a statement this afternoon. "Pantano's momentum is noteworthy, as his opponent, lobbyist David Rouzer, has seen his support fall off 60 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2011."
Rouzer had a different spin.
"Congress does not need another deficit spender," Rouzer said in a statement. "Ilario Pantano's FEC reports reveal he would fit right in with the deficit spenders in Congress. His latest campaign report showed he has only $8,912 cash on hand – with over $50,000 in debt – after spending more than $93,000 in the last quarter.
"It is interesting that Pantano continues to pay himself expenses before he pays his debts to the small businesses he owes. Just like in Congress, Pantano is sticking the little guy with the bill while taking care of himself."
Rouzer is referring to documents in the FEC report that show Pantano loaned the campaign money a couple of times and also paid himself from campaign donations.