RICHMOND — Virginia's major-party candidates for governor continued a record-setting fundraising pace in July and August, with Republican Glenn Youngkin leading the way with contributions of $15.7 million for the period and Democrat Terry McAuliffe reporting $11.5 million.

McAuliffe has twice as much cash on hand, however, with about $12.6 million in the bank compared with about $6 million for Youngkin, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

Cash on hand includes money carried over from previous campaign finance reporting periods.

Youngkin, a former private-
equity executive with no political experience, spent heavily on television advertising and other media over the summer as he introduced himself to voters, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Department of Elections.

More than half of Youngkin’s fundraising haul for the two-month period came from two sources: almost $4 million in contributions from the political action arm of the Republican Governors Association and loans from his own pocket of $4.5 million.

Youngkin’s other big donors included Richmond businessman Bruce C. Gottwald, who gave $150,000, and the conservative advocacy group American Economic Freedom Alliance, which gave $100,000.

The largest single donor to McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018 and is seeking a comeback, was the Democratic Governors Association, which chipped in $2.5 million. He reported no loans to his own campaign.

Several of McAuliffe’s other biggest donors were labor unions, such as an arm of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which gave $500,000, and the Communications Workers of America, which gave $200,000. McAuliffe also got a $250,000 contribution from Democratic megadonor George Soros.

The totals reported by both campaigns are new heights for political fundraising in Virginia. Four years ago, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) raised $7.4 million for the same reporting period, according to the VPAP.

Independent candidate Princess Blanding reported raising $1,258 for the period and has almost $6,000 in cash on hand.

Early voting begins Friday in Virginia, and McAuliffe and Youngkin squared off Thursday at 7 p.m. in the first of only two debates scheduled ahead of Election Day on Nov. 2.

The offices of lieutenant governor and attorney general are also on the ballot, along with all 100 seats in the House of Delegates. Democrats are defending a 55-45 majority in the House.

The other statewide races also reported big fundraising totals, with Democrats entering the final two months before the election with more money to spend than Republicans.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, Del. Hala S. Ayala (D-Prince William) collected just over $800,000 in July and August, and had nearly $890,000 in her coffers at the end of the reporting period.

The bulk of Ayala’s money came from the Democratic Party and unions. The Legislative Majority PAC, a national group that targets key races around the country, donated $100,000 to Ayala’s campaign. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union kicked in $50,000, while the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters union contributed $25,000.

Ayala also received $25,000 from the Dominion Energy political action committee, a supporter that caused the two-term delegate some trouble during the Democratic primary after she vowed not to take money from the politically powerful utility company.

Republican Winsome Sears, a former delegate in Norfolk, raised slightly more than $630,000 in July and August, ending the period with almost $326,000 in cash.

Sears — who surprised supporters this month by laying off her campaign director and other key staffers — collected $30,000 from Black America’s Political Action Committee, a group that supports conservative African Americans. The national Republican State Leadership Committee and Republican donor Richard Gilliam, a coal industry mogul, each contributed $25,000 to Sears.

Incumbent Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) reported raising more than $1.4 million over the summer and entered September with just over $1.3 million in cash.

Herring received $500,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association and a total of $210,000 from various unions.

Republican challenger Jason Miyares raised $707,000 and has a little over $1 million on hand. His major contributors were Gilliam, who donated $75,000 to Miyares, and Dominion, which contributed $50,000.

In the House races, Democrats collectively hold a 2-to-1 advantage over Republicans in money available to spend, according to VPAP.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) and Democratic Majority Leader Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria) entered September with a combined total of $1.9 million. Portions of those funds would probably go to supporting other Democrats, with the aim of keeping the party’s majority in the House, given that Filler-Corn’s Republican opponent, John Wolfe, ended August with $167 in available cash, and Herring has no Republican opponent.

In the race to fill Ayala’s open House seat, Democrat Briana Sewell raised just over $151,000 in July and August, ending the period with $232,576 available. Republican Tim Cox collected nearly $10,400 and had $11,425 available.

Democrat Michelle Maldonado — who defeated Del. Lee J. Carter (D-Manassas) in the party’s primary election — raised $124,400 and had $103,500 on hand. Her Republican opponent, Steve Pleickhardt, raised $6,780 in July and August and had $5,700 available.