McAuliffe also went into the final month of the race with more than double the amount of cash on hand compared with Youngkin, including money carried over from previous campaign finance reporting periods. McAuliffe ended the month with $7.8 million in the bank, while Youngkin had $3.5 million.
The previous campaign finance report, which detailed spending for July and August, had Youngkin leading in contributions with $15.7 million, compared with McAuliffe’s $11.5 million. Youngkin, a former private-equity executive, reported loaning his campaign $4.5 million during the summer. In the latest filing, Youngkin reported no new personal loans to his campaign. The political action arm of the Republican Governors Association continued to be his top donor, contributing $1.5 million in September.
His only other donation over $100,000 came from Haulover Creek Development Company, according to VPAP.
McAuliffe’s top donation came the Democratic Governors Association, with $1.1 million in contributions for the period. He continued to receive large donations from labor unions and political groups, like $400,000 from Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control advocacy group, and $250,000 from the Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Political Education Fund. According to VPAP, McAuliffe also received $200,000 from Gordon Gund, former owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In September, Democrats nationally grew increasingly wary of the tight margins of the Virginia race, a bellwether election that’s expected to be an indicator of how Democrats might fare in next year’s midterms. The competition also kicked into full gear in September, with the candidates sparring in two debates that month and spending heavily on advertising. Early voting began Sept. 17 and Election Day is Nov. 2.
The total fundraising of both candidates reached about $88 million in September, well surpassing the $66 million raised during the entirety of the 2017 governor’s race, with about a month more of fundraising to go. That year, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) raised $5.6 million in September, less than half of McAuliffe’s contributions for the same reporting period, according to campaign finance filings.
Independent candidate Princess Blanding reported raising $8,367 in September and has $6,339 cash on hand.
The ballot in November also includes lieutenant governor and attorney general, along with all 100 seats in the House of Delegates, where Democrats are defending a 55-45 majority.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Del. Hala S. Ayala (D-Prince William) raised $1.6 million during the reporting period, almost twice the amount she collected in July and August. She ended the reporting period with just over $1 million cash on hand. Ayala’s top donors included PACs and unions, like Everytown for Gun Safety, which donated $200,000, and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC, which contributed $150,000. The Service Employees International Union gave her campaign $100,000.
Republican lieutenant governor candidate Winsome E. Sears, a former delegate in Norfolk, brought in about $575,000 in September and ended the period with just over $480,000. The national Republican State Leadership Committee kicked in $100,000 to Sears. The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights advocacy group, and Haulover Creek Development both donated $25,000. At the beginning of September, Sears had laid off her campaign manager and other staffers, in part over fundraising.
Incumbent Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) reported raising about $1.3 million in September in his reelection bid and ended the period with about $1.9 million. Herring’s top donors include $200,000 from Everytown for Gun Safety and $100,000 from Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Republican challenger Del. Jason S. Miyares (Virginia Beach) reported raising about $1.4 million in September, nearly double what he raised in July and August. He went into October with just over $850,000 in hand.
Miyares’s top donation of $500,000 during the reporting period came from the Republican Attorneys General Association.
Candidates have one more campaign finance filing deadline on Oct. 25, which will be the last one before the election.