McAuliffe raises more than $1 million for inaugural celebration in Virginia


Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe talks at a news conference in Richmond in December. (Steve Helber/AP)

Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe has raised nearly $1.3 million for his inaugural festivities, with cash coming from a wide range of donors both inside and outside the state.

Among his top donors were two giant Richmond-based companies, tobacco producer Altria and Dominion Virginia Power, which each donated $50,000 for Saturday’s celebrations.

In his 2009 campaign, McAuliffe made a point of refusing donations from Dominion, saying the powerful state energy company was too reluctant to embrace renewable energy.

Despite his support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s coal regulations, McAuliffe took in $25,000 from the coal company Alpha Natural Resources. Dominion also owns coal-fired plants. EQT, a natural gas company in the Appalachian Basin, donated $15,000 to the inaugural committee.

Verizon and West Legend, a building supply company, also chipped in $50,000 each.

Members of the health-care industry — including hospitals, doctors, associations and medical supply companies — were among his top donors, giving a total of $215,000 to McAuliffe’s inaugural committee, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Software and telecommunications firms came in next, with $177,000, followed by the energy sector, banks and insurance companies, and real estate and construction businesses. Beer, wine, liquor and soda sellers all contributed, as did John Cohlan, chief executive of the Margaritaville restaurant chain.

“We’re happy about everybody who has taken part in this inauguration, whether through volunteering or donating,” said Ashley Bauman, spokeswoman for McAuliffe’s inaugural committee.

Mark Bowles, executive vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting; Catherine Reynolds, chairwoman of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation; and Rusty Conner, managing partner of the DLA Piper law firm, all served as finance co-chairs for the inaugural committee. The cost of the official inaugural ceremonies is borne by the state; the money McAuliffe has raised will go toward parties and other events.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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