The biggest individual contributor to Virginia politics this year is Robert G. Moore, a former truck driver turned developer in Virginia Beach.
Moore, 56, this year has given $323,500 to several candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, winners and losers.
He gave $150,000 to Lt. Gov. Richard J. Davis' unsuccessful gubernatorial bid and $100,500 to Gerald L. Baliles, who beat Davis for the Democratic party nomination.
Wyatt B. Durrette, the Republican nominee for governor, now is claiming Moore as a member of his finance committee and says Moore has contributed $53,000 to the campaign.
"He comes from North Carolina and he came from nothing," said Bruce Damm, Moore's top aide. "He and his wife still work seven days a week. They don't have a place in California or a secret place in the Bahamas."
Moore is renowned for his check-writing generosity for civic projects in Virginia Beach, according to Brian Jordan, a reporter with the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk who wrote a four-part series on Moore last year.
Moore's money and his dealings with the city council there have drawn criticism that he gets favored treatment on zoning issues, a charge that Moore's aide rejects.
"He doesn't look for favors," said Damm. "That always strikes people as funny. It's the straight truth."
"If he's interested in anything, it's probably roads," said Robert (Bobby) Watson, a close aide to Davis. Watson, executive director of the state party now chaired by Davis, said, however, that he has never met Moore.
Moore declined to return a reporter's telephone call last week. Damm said Moore had a tooth infection and was resting after a trip to the dentist.