Fundraising Numbers Paint a Competitive Picture of Virginia's Gubernatorial Race

Apr 18, 2017

New fundraising numbers in the race for governor show a hotly competitive race with some candidates raising large amounts of campaign cash. Reporter Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.

First quarter fundraising numbers show the Democratic primary for governor is the hottest statewide race on the ballot. And that’s even though Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam was legally prohibited from raising money during the General Assembly session. That gave former Congressman Tom Periello a chance to catch up. Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says that race is becoming a top-dollar attraction. 

“Tom Perriello has $1.7 million cash on hand, and Ralph Northam has a little over $3 million cash on hand. So it’s been pretty clear for a while that this was the more competitive of the two party primaries, and I think the fundraising numbers back that up.”

Credit NPR

On the Republican side, one candidate stands out far above the rest — former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie. He has a seven-to-one advantage over his rivals. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says his campaign finance disclosures look a lot like the kind of documents filed by another former party chairman, a guy named Terry McAuliffe.

"Ed Gillespie has a national fundraising network. He’s raising money from people outside of Virginia — Ross Perot Jr., former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, people like that.”

Kidd says Gillespie might end up being the same kind of fundraising powerhouse that McAuliffe was four years ago, except on the other side of the aisle.