Campaign financing reports filed this week by the eight democrats and four Republicans running for the U.S. Senate nomination in Virginia show that with one major exception the democrats have been bankrolling their own campaigns while the Republicans have depended on contributions.
The exception is Republican John Warner, former secretary of the Navy and husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, who so far has lent his campaign $200,000, according to a campaign spokesman. Warner, who has spent nearly $250,000 since he announced his candidacy, is the top spender among the Republicans.
All 12 candidates are aiming at party conventions in June at which the respective party nominees will be chosen to run for the U.S. senate seat being vacated by Republican William L. Scott.
Jeff Gregson, executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, said that the reports show that Republicans are better able to attract campaign contributors. "It's an example of our expanding base," he said. "We've been able to develop mailing lists and the Democrats have never gotten the hang of doing that."
Democratic Party chairman Joseph T. Fitzpatrick disagrees with that assessment, of course, saying that in last year's gubernatorial primary and general election the Democrats raised $500,000 more than the Republicans, who did not have a primary. The current candidates, he said, are concentrating more on wooing potential delegates to the state nominating convention than raising money.
the eight Democrats thus far have spent more than $700,000, of which about 90 percent has come from the candidates' own pockets.Of the four Republicans, who altogether have spent more than $385,000, only Warner and state Sen. Nathan Miller, who gave his campaign $3,000, have spent their own money on the race.
The Democrats' spending ranges from a high of about $258,000 by state Sen. Clive L. Duval of Fairfax, who has lent or given his campaign more than $274,000 so far, to a low of $683.48 spent by Flora Crater. Crater has spent $110 of her own money.
Former Democratic attorney general Andrew P. Miller has collected nearly $50,000, of which $8,000 is a personal loan, and spent about $44,000 since his January announcement.
Former del. Carrington Williams of Fairfax, another Democrat, has collected $181,935, of which more than $138,000 was given or loaned by Williams. he also has received small contributions from about 350 people and spent about $180,000.
Norfolk car dealer Conoly Phillips, who is running as a born-again Christian, has lent his campaign about $9,500 so far, according to his first finance report, and spent just under that. His total contributions, including his loan, total about $10,000.
Former Fairfax County supervisor Rufus Phillips has lent his campaign $110,000, the major portion of his campaign kitty of $126,500. He has spent about $108,000 by the report filing deadline, March 30.
Another Democrat, former Fairfax supervisor Frederick A. Babson, said he has lent his campaign $99,000 out of the $100,000 he has collected. Democratic state Sen. Hunter B. Andrews of Hampton has lent his campaign $30,000 out of the $39,000 he has received, according to a United Press International report.
Republican Richard D. Obenshain has collected more than $88,000 and spent just over that. He has been lent $10,000, half of which comes from a group called Citizens for the Republic.
Former Republican Gov. Linwood Holton has spent more than $38,000 so far, and collected nearly $48,000. He has not spent any of his own money according to the finance report. Nathan Miller has spent about $16,000, and collected about that much, including his $3,000 loan.