More than a year before Rep. Barbara Comstock asks Northern Virginians to send her back to Congress, the freshman has raised more than $1 million in campaign funds.
Comstock (R-Va.) pulled in $685,000 between April and June, according to fundraising figures that her campaign provided to The Washington Post. The contributions are due to be reported to the Federal Election Commission by Wednesday.
The new donations bring Comstock’s total fundraising haul since her election last year to $1.1 million, with about $862,000 in cash on hand.
Comstock’s early fundraising success could make it harder for Democrats to knock her off in 2016. No Democrat has entered the race yet.
“Democrats simply do not have an answer for Congresswoman Comstock,” John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in an e-mail. “Barbara has won five races in five years, and her ability to already raise over $1.1 million this election cycle demonstrates that like in past campaigns, she is already bringing together a strong and broad coalition of supporters. And whoever challenges her is in danger of being embarrassed like her previous opponent at the polls.”
Comstock is a former state delegate and GOP political operative who handily beat Democrat John W. Foust in November in a race to succeed Republican Frank R. Wolf, her longtime political mentor who retired after 34 years.
Despite Comstock’s 16-point margin over Foust, Democrats and Republicans alike have said she could have a tougher time in 2016, when a presidential contest will draw far more voters in the increasingly blue swing district.
Even with no challenger in the race, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted her in a flurry of news releases, one of which recently called her a “One-Term-Wonder.”
“Barbara Comstock is going to need every penny to try to hide her true record from Virginia voters,” said DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly. “She claims to care about the advancement of women but wants to restrict their health-care rights. She claims to champion fixing Northern Virginia’s transportation system but has continually voted to gut transportation funding. No amount of money can masquerade her reckless and irresponsible positions.”
The 10th District that Comstock represents is one of the most evenly divided in the nation, stretching from the conservative and rural Shenandoah Valley through Loudoun County and the edge of more liberal Fairfax County. Federal employees, government contractors and immigrants make up a large share of the population, which narrowly voted for President Obama in 2008 but backed Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.
Comstock has sought to repeat the balancing act that allowed Wolf to hang on to the seat for three decades, sticking with her party in recent votes on abortion and immigration but bucking the GOP on behalf of federal employees and regional transportation.