A national Republican group gave $660,000 to state Sen. Mark Obenshain’s campaign for Virginia attorney general Friday, the latest sign that some in the GOP may see Obenshain as the best hope for the party to pull off a victory on Election Day.
The contribution by the Republican State Leadership Committee, reported by the Virginia Public Access Project, brings the group’s total contributions to Obenshain (Harrisonburg) to $2.6 million — an amount that dwarfs what Obenshain has been able to raise from other sources. The RSLC is devoted to electing down-ballot statewide GOP officials and is chaired by Ed Gillespie, a prominent figure in Virginia and national Republican politics.
Polls have shown Obenshain running neck-and-neck with state Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) in the contest for attorney general. At the top of the ballot, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) is trailing businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) in the race for governor, while many in the GOP see Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson (R) as a long shot in the contest for lieutenant governor against state Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk).
That leaves Obenshain as perhaps the likeliest firewall against a clean Democratic sweep Nov. 5. Obenshain has spent more than $1.6 million on advertising so far in the race, according to VPAP tracking data. Herring — who has received $680,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association — has spent $1 million on ads.