Warner widens financial lead over Gillespie in Senate race in Virginia


Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) speaks during his re-election kickoff rally on May 29 in Arlington. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Mark R. Warner widened his financial lead over Ed Gillespie in the fundraising period that ended last month, pulling in $2.7 million compared with the $1.9 million his Republican rival amassed.

Warner (D-Va.), a former governor seeking his second term in the Senate, and Gillespie, a longtime GOP strategist, released their latest campaign finance information Tuesday ahead of a midnight filing deadline.

The $2.7 million Warner raised from May 22 through June 30 brings his total for the race to $14 million, with $8.9 million in cash on hand. Gillespie’s total rose to $4.1 million, with $3.1 million in cash. Warner’s campaign said 60 percent of its donations were $150 or less.

“Grass-roots support from folks across the Commonwealth has allowed us to make early [advertising] investments that will pay dividends in the fall,” said Trey Nix, Warner’s campaign manager.

Gillespie’s team highlighted that it had thousands of donors from nearly every corner of Virginia — 47 of whom once opened their checkbooks for Warner.

“The Gillespie campaign continues to build momentum as more and more voters compare Mark Warner’s record of voting 97 percent of the time with President Obama and Ed Gillespie’s agenda for economic growth,” said Chris Leavitt, Gillespie’s campaign manager.

Also Tuesday, congressional candidate Dave Brat reported raking in $399,660 in campaign cash during the quarter, much of it after pulling off a stunning upset on June 10 over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary. Brat’s haul was more than twice as much as that of his Democratic opponent, Jack Trammell, who raised less than $155,000.

Brat and Trammell, both professors at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, are vying to represent Virginia’s heavily Republican 7th Congressional District, which stretches from suburban Richmond toward the Shenandoah Valley.

“The huge number of smaller-dollar contributors shows how much of a grass-roots ‘campaign of the people’ this really is,” Brat said in a prepared statement.

Trammell had no Democratic opponent and entered the race days before the GOP primary, more than two weeks into the fundraising period. He raised $154,753 in about three weeks, said Beth Cope, his campaign manager.

“We’re just extremely proud of the fundraising Jack’s done in a few short weeks, and we look forward to a really competitive race,” she said.

Brat has raised about $609,000 for the entire campaign and had about $219,000 in cash on hand. Because Trammell has been in the race only for this fundraising period, the $155,000 represents his total for the campaign. He reported having about $141,000 in cash on hand.

Also reporting fundraising figures were candidates in the state’s 8th Congressional District, a heavily Democratic territory in Northern Virginia that includes Falls Church, Fairfax County, Alexandria and Arlington County. Former lieutenant governor Don Beyer (D) raised $606,526, including a $200,000 loan he made to his campaign. That brings his fundraising total for the campaign to about $1.5 million. His campaign has about $49,000 in cash on hand.

His Republican opponent, Micah Edmond, raised $20,799 this period, bringing total fundraising to $65,140. The Edmond campaign had about $19,000 in cash on hand.

And in the 10th Congressional District race, Republican Barbara Comstock raised nearly $611,000 during the quarter as she seeks to succeed outgoing Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R). She reported having about $576,000 on hand. Democrat John Foust had $573,000 for the quarter, including a $150,000 loan that the Fairfax County supervisor made to himself. Foust also reported an additional $132,000 raised in the April 1-7 period before the official quarter began. Foust reported a total of $1.13 million in his campaign coffers.

Patricia Sullivan and Antonio Olivo contributed to this report.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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