Incumbents are leading in fundraising in Virginia’s competitive congressional races, according to new second-quarter reports; Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) has about $4.9 million cash on hand, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) has about $4.3 million cash on hand, and Representative Jennifer Wexton has about $3.6 million on hand. Luria’s Republican challenger State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) has $413,279 cash on hand; Wexton’s challenger Hung Cao has $354,183 on hand, and Spanberger challenger Yesli Vega has $246,070, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
“Today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria announced her biggest fundraising quarter to date, raising more than $1.85 million in the second quarter of 2022 and far exceeding previous campaign records,” Luria’s campaign said in a press release touting small-dollar donations.
“Our campaign was carried to victory with grassroots support in 2018, and we will continue to be fueled by grassroots supporters,” Luria said in the release obtained by Blue Virginia.
Despite the big financial lead, VA-02 is still considered competitive and perhaps Republicans’ easiest flip in Virginia. For example, in a July 15 update, Inside Elections rates VA-02 a toss-up and VA-07 is tilt Democratic.
Former Prince William County GOP Committee vice chairman Willie Deutsch told The Virginia Star that a lot of national money will come in to the races by Labor Day.
“All of them [Spanberger, Luria, and Wexton] are incumbents, and Republicans had nomination contests where they spent money. The shock would be if it was opposite,” Deutsch said.
In second quarter reports, Spanberger raised $1.4 million and Wexton raised $863,675. Cao raised $668,440, Kiggans raised $470,225, and Vega raised $385,399.
General Assembly 2023
Early fundraising for General Assembly 2023 races are also in, and a graphic from VPAP demonstrates the unusually high number of candidates already reporting fundraising in both House of Delegates and state Senate races.
“The possibility that House of Delegates elections could have been held a year earlier than scheduled and the lure of open state Senate seats created by redistricting have led to a record-setting number of new legislative candidates raising money early,” VPAP explained.
Former delegate and candidate for the 2021 Democratic gubernatorial nomination Jennifer Carroll Foy tops VPAP’s fundraising lists, having raised $321,768 in her bid for the Democratic nomination for the new Senate District 33. She’s facing former delegate and 2021 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Hala Ayala, who has raised $161,387 so far.
York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs is the leading Republican for early fundraising; he’s seeking the nomination in SD 24 where he’s running against Senator Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg). Diggs has raised $185,871.
Political commentator Sam Shirazi flagged the race on Twitter: “This Hampton Roads race could decide who controls the State Senate and already has lots of money Incumbent Dem State Senator Monty Mason raised $64K and has over $250K COH [Cash on hand] But Republican Danny Diggs transferred $80K from his Sheriff account to raise $186K and has $174K COH.”
Tina Ramirez also ranks high on the list of early fundraising, with $183,166 for her race for the Republican nomination in SD 12, where she’s facing Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) and former Senator Glen Sturtevant, who reported raising $99,414.
In the House, former House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) raised $230,452, while the current Minority Leader Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) raised $229,199. Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) raised the most out of the Republicans, with $92,835.
Further down the list, House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) raised $55,456 for his HD 98 primary battle against House Education Chair Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach); Davis only reported $12,707 raised so far. Freshman Delegate Wren Williams (R-Patrick) raised $52,602 so far in the already-bitter HD 47 nomination race, while his opponent freshman Delegate Marie March (R-Floyd) reported $5,875.
This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.