The Virginia governor’s race is shaping up to be a well-funded one, with both candidates raking in millions of dollars during the first quarter of this year.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe brought in about double what Republican Ken Cuccinelli did between Jan. 1 and March 30, according to campaign finance reports released this week.
McAuliffe raised $5.1 million for the quarter and had almost $5.2 million in his campaign account at the end of the quarter. Cuccinelli raised $2.4 million and had just under $3 million on hand as of March 30.
Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general, and other current office-holders were possibly hampered by a state law that prohibits legislators and statewide office-holders from collecting campaign donations during the General Assembly session, which ran Jan. 9 to Feb. 23 and reconvened for a one-day session April 3.
During the 2009 election, then candidate Bob McDonnell (R) raised $2.2 million in the first quarter of the election year. He ultimately raised more than $24 million during the course of his successful election campaign.
McDonnell resigned his post as attorney general to run for governor. His Democratic opponent, state Sen. Creigh Deeds, still was an office-holder and raised just more than $700,000 that quarter and ultimately raised about $17 million.
Fundraising totals were somewhat lower in the other statewide races, where neither party has settled on a nominee.
Former Virginia secretary of technology and Obama administration appointee Aneesh Chopra is leading a crowded field for lieutenant governor, raising nearly $450,000 during the first quarter and having just less than $1 million still on hand.
His Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Ralph Northam (Dist. 6), is catching up, nearly matching Chopra’s fundraising efforts for the quarter but starting the year with a zero balance.
On the Republican side, fundraising for the seven candidates for the quarter ranges from $12,500 for Sen. Steve Martin (Dist. 11) to more than $275,000 for Springfield businessman Pete Snyder. Snyder has spent far more on campaigning than his fellow Republicans.
Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart leads the Republican field in cash on hand, about $360,000.
The Republicans are using a nominating convention process rather than a primary this year.
Sen. Mark Herring (D-Dist. 33) raised the most of any of the attorney general candidates during the quarter, about $150,000, but Del. Robert Bell (R-Dist. 58) has the most in the bank by far, about $550,000.
Herring is facing fellow Democrat Justin Fairfax in a primary, so both have been spending on a primary campaign.
Bell is contending with Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Dist. 26) at the convention.