December 6, 2023

Cash doesn’t win elections, but it surely undoubtedly makes it simpler for candidates to speak with voters, canvas people of their districts, and extra. October’s marketing campaign finance studies for Virginia’s Normal Meeting races dropped lately, and Democratic fundraising numbers present continued enthusiasm for the celebration’s candidates.

These marketing campaign finance studies coated the whole month of September – key weeks for candidates making an attempt to fund their GOTV efforts, paid media, and different work within the ultimate days of Virginia’s Home of Delegates and state Senate elections.

As with the earlier fundraising interval, Democratic candidates in each chambers outpaced their GOP counterparts. 

Democratic candidates for the Home of Delegates raised a mixed $8.8 million, whereas Republicans introduced in $8.3 million.

Democrats operating for the state Senate raised nearly $6.5 million collectively; Republicans raised simply over $6 million.

It’s price protecting in thoughts that these totals embody some really large donations from Glenn Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC – which introduced in a whopping $6.5 million by means of Oct. 7.

Youngkin’s outstanding fundraising totals are largely the results of simply three donors, two of whom are very a lot not Virginians.

TikTok investor Jeff Yass is Pennsylvania’s richest man and a enormous spender in GOP races within the state. However even if Youngkin banned TikTok from all state-owned telephones and different digital units final December, Youngkin lately accepted $2 million from Yass for his PAC.

Florida megadonor Thomas Peterffy added one other $1 million to the $2 million he donated to Youngkin over the summer season.

The third-largest donor to Spirit of Virginia final month is definitely a Virginian, although: It’s Glenn Youngkin himself. On the finish of September, he donated $500,000 to his personal PAC.

Youngkin’s PAC has not been merely sitting on its thousands and thousands; the October fundraising studies present that Spirit of Virginia shoveled thousands and thousands of {dollars} into key GOP races over the last reporting interval.

Republican Senate candidate Siobhan Dunnavant, who’s locked in a fierce battle with Democratic Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg in suburban Richmond’s Senate District 16, obtained $727,000 from Spirit of Virginia over the course of that month. After the reporting deadline, the governor’s PAC gave her one other $229,000; Dunnavant has obtained extra money from Spirit of Virginia than some other candidate thus far. However although he lacked a billionaire benefactor, VanValkenburg stayed aggressive when it comes to cash raised over the reporting interval: his receipts totalled $866,625.

Republican Tara Durant is operating in Senate District 27, which incorporates a part of Fredericksburg and the world to the north and gave the impression to be a reasonably protected GOP-leaning district earlier within the cycle; Youngkin gained this seat in 2021 54-45%. However now Youngkin seems to be making an attempt to bail out Durant’s struggling marketing campaign.

The race for SD-27 appears to have grow to be extra aggressive over current months. Democrat Joel Griffin has raised a boatload of money – over $1.7 million since coming into the race in February – whereas Durant, regardless of the fundraising contacts and benefits she has as a sitting member of the Home of Delegates, has raised lower than $1.2 million since Jan. 1. That complete contains September donations of $130,000 from a nationwide Republican marketing campaign committee, however not the $400,000 Spirit of Virginia threw her means after the Sept. 30 candidate reporting deadline.

Additional complicating Durant’s quest to win this GOP-leaning district is the truth that GOP major loser Matt Strickland, a right-wing, anti-vax conspiracy theorist, is mounting a write-in marketing campaign to struggle what he describes as a “corrupt” major marketing campaign towards him.

Spirit of Virginia’s greatest donations of the 12 months have gone to the Republican Celebration of Virginia – nearly $3 million, particularly. The state GOP has rotated and invested in varied Republican Home and Senate candidates, although not almost as lavishly as Youngkin’s PAC has.

With mere days remaining till Election Day, we’ll study quickly sufficient if Youngkin’s ultra-rich GOP benefactors converse extra loudly with their {dollars} than Virginia Democrats’ donor base.

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can be the nation’s foremost skilled in state politics with nearly 20 years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian e-book assortment might be larger than yours.

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