Most of the delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on the election this year. But delegates from Virginia are also in Cleveland setting the stage for next year. And the fundraising efforts for the next campaign for governor are already heating up.
In the last eight months, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie has raised about $1.3 million to run for governor. And since Republican Congressman Rob Wittman started raising money for a gubernatorial campaign back in April, he’s raised about $57,000. But Robert Guttman at George Mason University says the congressman can transfer his one million dollar congressional campaign account to his gubernatorial account when he needs it.
“John McCain, after he ran for president, started the McCain Institute. He had like $18 or $19 million, and the law says he can use it to start an institute. So the laws are flawed as we all know, and people can use this money that’s held over."
There’s another potential candidate in the race, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. He hasn’t raised any money yet, which leads Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics to say he’ll have a hard time making the case that he has the resources to mount a strong campaign.
“At the moment it would look like both Gillespie and Wittman would probably be in a position to make that argument and, at the same time, it’s kind of difficult to see Corey Stewart being able to manage the same feat."
That money will be targeted directly to delegate at the Republican convention next year because the convention — not a statewide primary — will select the party’s nominee for governor.