Originally in the News & Observer
By Colin Campbell, January 26, 2016

Democratic state Sen. Josh Stein is off to a strong start in the attorney general’s race, posting $503,467.18 in fundraising for the second half of 2015.

Stein has a total of $1.49 million in his account as he seeks to succeed fellow Democrat Roy Cooper, who’s running for governor.

Stein will face a long-shot candidate, Wilmington attorney Marcus Williams, in the March 15 Democratic primary. The two Republicans in the race are Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson and Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill.

Candidates have until Friday to file campaign reports covering July 1 to Dec. 31. Stein’s campaign released part of his report on Tuesday to highlight his numbers.

Newton’s campaign manager, Doug Raymond, said he didn’t have fundraising totals ready to release yet. O’Neill could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.

Stein’s report shows about $495,000 in individual contributions and about $9,000 from political committees.

A news release from the Stein campaign says his cash-on-hand total is “more than any non-gubernatorial Council of State candidate has ever had as of December 31 the year before the election.”