When It Comes to Cash on Hand, State Republicans Hold a Significant Advantage

Oct 4, 2017

Delegate Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) has $700,000 in his campaign account.
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

All the buzz this year in the election for House of Delegates has been with the Democrats, who are eager to capitalize on uneasiness with President Trump. But, as Michael Pope reports, most of the money is with the Republicans.

Republican candidates for the House of Delegates are heading into the final stretch of the campaign season with a clear financial advantage — twice as much cash on hand as Democrats. Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says that’s because they have a bunch of candidates running for reelection.

"Republicans have this big cash on hand edge because they have a bunch of incumbents. Chris Jones comes to mind, a Republican who has $700,000 in his campaign account. So that’s a ton of money.”

That would be Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says the money will play a key role in the last few weeks.

“You’re probably not going to see a lot of these candidates running ads on TV. What you are going to see them doing is spending a lot of that money on what we call GOTV, get out the vote activities. And those things are expensive if you do them right and you do them thoroughly. And that’s where this cash advantage is really going to help Republicans.”

Democrats were able to out-raise Republicans from July to August. But that was not enough to overcome the massive advantage all those Republican incumbents were able to bankroll heading into campaign season.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.