Virginia Q1 Congressional Fundraising Roundup
With only 3 Congressional seats expected to be competitive (all with Democratic incumbents), we’ll focus our round-up there. All information from www.fec.gov/data.
For each of these updates, our focus will be on the Republican nomination – though we’ll note the relative strength of the incumbent’s fundraising, as expected for an incumbent facing a (potentially) marquee race.
As a note: VPAP’s figures (and others being bandied) may include PAC funding. The figures below represent just the money raised by the authorized campaign committees, as an indicator of the work and support that each campaign was able to generate on their own. While not always the case, candidates that show an ability to generate massive and widespread financial support tend to do better in elections than candidates that are only able to generate narrow or meager financial support.
As with previous round-ups, the focus is on the amount raised in Q1, the amount they’ve raised this entire cycle, and the amount they have left on hand. For Republicans, this represents the last full quarter to fundraise ahead of the June 21st primary (or the May 21st firehouse primary).
Elaine Luria (i):
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $1.1M
Cash on Hand: $3.2M
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $404K
Cash on Hand: $593K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $86K
Cash on Hand: $9K (with $39K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $43K
Cash on Hand: $19K
Jennifer Kiggans is by all measures the frontrunner for the nomination here, particularly after former Rep. Scott Taylor dropped out and endorsed her. Her fundraising totals only confirm this, as she is the first and only Republican challenger in any race in Virginia to surpass the $1M mark cycle-to-date. While the primary format and her State Senate name ID also provide a boost to Kiggans, it’s worth noting the strong showing from Jarome Bell – a disconcertingly strong showing from someone who is sociopathically campaigning on executing election officials. However, Bell’s numbers are inflated with an aggressive and expensive direct mail fundraising scheme that produces high fundraising numbers but slim margins to actually use on the campaign – spending around $50,000 on postage alone.
With over half-a-million on hand, though, Kiggans looks well-positioned to close strongly in the June 21st primary and transition to the general election, where Elaine Luria and her $3M warchest are waiting her.
Abigail Spanberger (i):
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $1.0M
Cash on Hand: $3.8M
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $357K
Cash on Hand: $294K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $269K
Cash on Hand: $390K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $232K
Cash on Hand: $371K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $84K
Cash on Hand: $468K (with $400K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $44K
Cash on Hand: $121K (with $98K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $33K
Cash on Hand: $13K
The newly created 7th District is one of the top battleground districts in the country, and vulnerable incumbent Abigail Spanberger is fundraising like it, amassing nearly $4M cash-on-hand, by far the highest of any Congressional candidate in a competitive race in Virginia. There is a spirited campaign to take her on in November, with a clear divide between the top-tier and lower-tier candidates in this race.
In the top-tier, Vega, Reeves, and Anderson are raising the most. While Vega won this quarter, it was also her first quarter, meaning both Reeves and Anderson have raised more this cycle and have more cash on hand. That Vega and Reeves topped this list is no surprise, but Anderson’s strong showing could be the sign of a strong campaign operation offering another viable choice to primary voters.
Vanuch only raised a fraction of any of the top three, but also self-loaned $400K. On one hand, a loan (rather than directly giving the money) is a hedge, meaning Vanuch can keep the account open long after the election to pay herself back. On the other hand, it instantly vaults her to the top of the cash-on-hand ranks, also putting her in position to compete.
Finally, Ross and Ciarcia bring up the rear, even with Ross’s late self-loan propping up his cash-on-hand. Gary Adkins filed a notice of withdrawal from the race.
Jennifer Wexton (i):
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $480K
Cash on Hand: $3.0M
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $314K
Cash on Hand: $224K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $308K
Cash on Hand: $546K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $235K
Cash on Hand: $206K (with $35K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $61K
Cash on Hand: $286K (with $225K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $58K
Cash on Hand: $149K (with $143K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $44K
Cash on Hand: $51K
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $29K
Cash on Hand: $34K (with $20K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $26K
Cash on Hand: $5K (with $22K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $14K
Cash on Hand: $9K
Theresa Coates Ellis:
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: $5K
Cash on Hand: $16K (with $33K in debt)
01/01 – 03/31 Raised: not filed
Cycle-to-date: not filed
Cash on Hand: not filed
This district, which voted for Biden by double-digits but Youngkin came within 2% of, has attracted 11 Republican candidates in the race who will duke it out in a firehouse primary. The low-key nature of the nomination, the number of candidates, and ranked-choice voting means that this race is quite unpredictable. While breaking through the crowd field (and money helps to do that) is critically important, so is building up enough goodwill among the potential electorate to secure 2nd- and 3rd-place votes.
But looking at just the money, it’s clear there’s a few heavy hitters, led (perhaps surprisingly) by Navy Special Ops veteran Hung Cao, who just narrowly outraised PWC Supervisor Jeanine Lawson. Lawson, however, has been in the race longer and has amassed over $800K raised so far, and is sitting comfortably with over a half-million in the bank. Axiom-backed candidate, Brandon Michon, brought in a respectable $235K.
On the flipside, businessman and poet (and all-around great guy) Jeff Mayhugh didn’t raise anything, as that’s not how he wants to run for office in his non-traditional approach to campaigning. The other 7 candidates, including two current elected officials in Beatty and Ellis, along with Henley, Clancy, Beckwith, Taylor, and Max, raised closer to the candidate who is ideologically opposed to fundraising than anyone in the top tier.
Some of these candidates got a late start to the campaign, so the next fundraising report may reshape some perceptions of viability. Either way, the nominee will eventually need to go up against Wexton’s $3M warchest, and only 3 candidates so far have shown this potential.