Out-of-state Giving Tops In-state For Va. Gov. Race
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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s major party candidates for governor are taking more than two-thirds of their campaign contributions from outside of Virginia.
Campaign finance data analyzed by the nonprofit and independent watchdog of political cash, the Virginia Public Access Project, shows that Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli received more outside political money than any governor’s race on record.
Only 30.5 percent of Cuccinelli’s fundraising through August came from Virginians, and it was only 26.6 percent for McAuliffe. The opposite was true for Libertarian Robert Sarvis, the only Virginia-born candidate, who raised 68 percent of his scant $66,060 inside the state.
Since VPAP began tracking state political fundraising in 1997, candidates for governor on average got about 66 percent of their contributions from individuals with Virginia addresses or Virginia-based companies. In the 1997 race, for instance, Democrat Don Beyer received 82.3 percent of his funding from inside Virginia in his unsuccessful race against Republican Jim Gilmore, who raised 67 percent of money within Virginia.
Those figures represent only direct contributions to candidates and don’t include millions of dollars flowing into Virginia from allied organizations independent of the campaigns themselves such as the Republican Governors Association or the anti-Cuccinelli NextGen Climate Action Committee, a nonprofit that does not disclose its donors.
Such organizations have already spent at least $5.5 million in Virginia on media advertising alone so far to influence the only competitive governor’s race in the nation this year, according to VPAP.
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