The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group that works for the election of Republican legislators and officials, contributed another $250,000 Thursday to Virginia candidates, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics.

That bring the committee’s total contribution this year to the Republican Party of Virginia to $500,000, making it one of the biggest donors to Republican candidates in the state in years.

The group, headed by former Republican National Committee chairman and Gov. Bob McDonnell’s campaign chairman Ed Gillespie, looks to elect Republican lawmakers, attorney generals and lieutenant governors nationwide.

Republicans are working aggressively to take back the state Senate in Virginia, one of a handful of states with legislative elections this year.

Gillespie campaigned Saturday with two Senate candidates — Adam Light and Dave Nutter — in Southwest Virginia.

“We need a few more state Senators who will go to Richmond and stand with Governor McDonnell and work to accomplish that agenda,’’ Gillespie said in a statement.