The Washington Post

McDonnell, parties raise millions for tough fall campaigns

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s political action committee, Opportunity Virginia, reported raising about $500,000 during the first three months of the year and has nearly $2 million in the bank heading into the fall’s key legislative races.

McDonnell (R) raised $4.9 million from Jan. 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011, and has $1.9 million cash on hand, according to an analysis released Monday by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics in the state.

By comparison, his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, raised just slightly more — $5 million — in the same time period during his term for his PAC, Moving Virginia Forward, but had only $840,700 in the bank, according to VPAP.

Republicans, who already hold all three statewide seats, are looking to take back control of the Senate in the legislative elections in November. Republicans hold an overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.

McDonnell has held a number of fundraisers in and outside the state, including Houston, while recently there for the Final Four. He will headline a fundraiser Thursday in Albemarle County.

“The strong financial position of the Governor’s PAC will allow him to support candidates for the General Assembly this November who support his agenda and share his goal of bringing new jobs and greater opportunity to every region of the Commonwealth,’’ said Phil Cox, McDonnell’s top political adviser in a statement.

(Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli do not report until later in the year).

Meanwhile, House and Senate leaders are also feverishly raising money for the elections.

In the House, Republicans candidates have almost $2.7 million in the bank while Democratic candidates have $1.2 million, according to VPAP. House Speaker William J. Howell’s Dominion Leadership Trust, which has more than $1 million, according to VPAP, more than twice as much as for the same period as the 2009 election cycle.

In the Senate, Democratic candidates have $3.3 million while Republicans have $2.4 million. Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax), reports nearly $860,000, according to VPAP.


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