Alison Friedman, one of six Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) in November, has expanded her fundraising lead by giving her campaign $1 million of her own money, according to finance reports filed late Thursday.
The donation helped pay for television ads that will air through the primary on June 12 and brings her total war chest to about $2.4 million.
“Alison made a contribution to her campaign because she understands greater resources provide more time to focus on meeting voters where they are,” campaign spokeswoman Wellesley Daniels said in a statement.
Friedman, an anti-human-trafficking activist who worked for the State Department during the Obama administration, is running to the left of the apparent front-runner, state Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (Loudoun).
Both women, with Army veteran Dan Helmer, are airing television commercials, and an outside group went on the air Friday with an ad on behalf of strategist Lindsey Davis Stover.
Friedman, the great-granddaughter of a top executive at Levi Strauss & Co. named Daniel Koshland, has tapped a network of progressive donors and celebrities she met through her activism and family. Her mother founded Voters for Choice with Gloria Steinem.
A native of Takoma Park, Md., Friedman raised much of her money from California, giving Republicans an opportunity to paint her as out of touch with the district.
“After finally realizing her campaign is a non-starter, California girl Alison Friedman has loaned herself a million bucks,” said Maddie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “If she uses that cash to take some swings at the front-runner, maybe it will actually make a difference.”
Friedman’s spokeswoman said the money helps her compete with candidates “who benefited from corporate money from big tobacco and oil companies without being beholden to their special interests.”
The statement refers to Wexton, who has raised about $1.1 million throughout the campaign.
During Wexton’s previous campaigns for state Senate in Virginia, where there are no caps on corporate giving, she received $1,000 from Altria and $3,500 from Dominion Energy. She has said she has not taken corporate PAC money in her run for Congress.