Richmond mayoral campaign finance reports show Stoney holds big edge in the money race

2020 Election

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney raised more money in the last month than the four candidates vying for his seat did combined, growing the incumbent’s lead in the money race with just two weeks before Election Day.

Stoney took in $224,603 in cash and in-kind donations in September, according to a campaign finance report filed last week. Councilwoman Kim Gray and Alexsis Rodgers, the mayor’s closest challengers, raised less than $100,000 in the month. Gray raised $83,445 in September and Rodgers’ campaign raised $98,283, reports showed.

The new campaign finance reports provide a peek into how much each campaign has raised, how they have spent their money, specific political donors and the cash they have on hand ahead of next month’s election.

Justin Griffin, an attorney who is also running, raised $8,376 in the filing period and has brought in nearly 34,000. According to VPAP, he has spent most of his campaign money on online ads and printing services from a Richmond-based graphic design company called Gillis Media Services. 

Tracey Mclean, an independent candidate and small business owner who has raised $382 according to VPAP, did not report any donations for the second straight filing period.

While campaign fundraising remains vital, candidates who raise the most money don’t always win the race. In 2016, when Stoney was elected, he was out-raised by Jack Berry by more than $200,000. Nonetheless, Stoney’s campaign touted the mayor’s fundraising haul in September as the largest in one month in Richmond mayoral history.

“Later this evening, Stoney for RVA will file our September campaign finance report. The campaign will report over $210,000 in cash receipts in one month. This represents the largest fundraising haul in one month in Richmond mayoral history,” Kevin Zeithaml, Stoney’s campaign manager, said in a statement last Thursday. “The campaign started October with over $200,000 cash on hand and has continued to raise at an historic pace since October 1st.”

Rodgers noted her own fundraising record, saying last week that her campaign has received the most individual contributions ever in a race for Richmond mayor.

“We have the most successful grassroots campaign because we do not take people for granted. As an organizer, I understand that people are the source of our political power,” Rodgers said in a statement. “Without the community, we don’t make progress. People are the driving force that makes Richmond what it is, and our community can not give that power solely to corporations and the wealthy few. That’s why our campaign has the highest individual support in the race.”

Check back with 8News for updates.

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