Virginia Gov.-elect John N. Dalton reported today that he spent $1.9 million in this year's gubernatorial campaign, $300,000 more than has ever been spent before in a Virginia state race.

Dalton's spending disclosure statement filed with state election officials and a supplemental statement given to reporters showed that the Republican victor outspend Democratic candidate Henry E. Howell by about $634,000.

Howell spent about $500,000 winning the Decromatic primary and another $766,000 in the general election campaign, for a total of $1.27 million.

Dalton was nominated without opposition in a Republican state convention and did not have to pay the cost of a primary election. However, the publicity given Howell in his primary campaign, combined with high-name recognition achieved through three other statewide races, was thought to be of great value to him in his race against Dalton.

Early polls showed Howell far ahead of the Republican lieutenant governor last summer, but he finally lost by 158,000 votes out of 1.25 million cast.

he post-election disclosure statements filed by Dalton, Howell and the candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general showed that Virginia political campaign spending and giving this year exceeded $6.5 million.

This figure includes cash contributions and expenditures for the three statewide officers, primary and general elections. It does not include inkind contributions, such as donations of airplanes for candidates's travel, nor does it include spending for state legislative races.

Dalton's spending broke records set in the Democratic primary this year by losing gubernatorial candidate Andrew P. Miller and in the 1973 general election by Republican Gov. Mills E. Godwin. Both Miller and Godwin spent about $1.1 million in races against Howell. Howell spent almost $1 million in his 1973 loss to Godwin.

Both Dalton and Howell ended their campaigns with substantial debts. The Dalton campaign committee said in a statement that all of its bills have been paid, but $205,000 in loans to the campaign remain unpaid.

A campaign spokesman listed the outstanding debts as $100,000 to Dalton. $40.000 each to Richmond business executives J. Smith Ferebbee and Max Goodloe and $25,000 to Richmond invester Lawrence Lewis, the campaign finance chairman.

Howell's debt according to his reports, total about $65,000 most of it remaining from his primary campaign.

Dalton's list of large contributors throughout the campaign read like a directory of the Virginia business establishment, but he also received donations from a record number of small contributors and was less reliant on big gifts than was Howell.

Among the large contributors listed in Dalton's post-election report were Paul Mellon, the Mellon fortune heir who lives in Upperville ($1,000). Babcock & Wilcox, a builder of electricity generating plants (3,500) and Brown & Root. Inc. an industrial construction giant that is establishing a facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore for the manufacture of off-shore drilling platforms ($3,000).

In other races, Lt. Gov.-elect Charles S. Robb reported spending $319,000 in his general election campaign in addition to more than $400,000 that he spent in winning the December primary last June 14. His total election-year outlay of about $725,000 is by far a record expenditure in pursuit of the part-time lieutenant governorship.

The lieutenant governor presides over the State Senate and becomes governor if the governor dies in office. None ever has.

Ronn ended up with the largest debt of all the statewide candidates. In addition to unpaid bills of $54,000 he has unpaid campaign loans of $218,000. He borrowed more than $200,000 of that amount in his own name.

The unsucessful Republican candidate for lieutenant governor state Sen. A Joe Canada of Virginia Beach, reported spending $285,000. His report shows $67,500 in unpaid bills.

Del. Edward E. Lane of Richmond. the defeated Democratic candidate for attorney general reported spending $201,000 during the general election campaign on top of the $145,000 he spent wining the primary. He reported unpaid loans of $54,000 and unpaid bills of $54,000.