McAuliffe holds financial edge over Youngkin as Virginia governor’s race shatters fundraising record

Virginia Elections

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin have combined to raise $88 million this election cycle, smashing the previous fundraising record for a Virginia governor’s race through September.

Campaign finance reports provide a peek into how much the campaigns have raised, how they have spent their money, specific political donors and the cash they have on hand. McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor, has outraised Youngkin, a first-time candidate, in the last few campaign finance reports filed with the state.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate brought in $12.6 million last month and his campaign has raised a total of $45 million, disclosures submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections show. Youngkin raised $7 million in September and has received $43 million in contributions this election cycle.

In their latest fundraising reports, which details the money flowing in and out of the campaigns from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, McAuliffe disclosed having roughly $7.8 million in cash on hand and Youngkin reported having $3.5 million.

The $88 million raised by McAuliffe and Youngkin showcases the attention the race continues to attract ahead of Election Day. The previous fundraising record at this stage of the governor’s race was set in 2013 when McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli together raised $49 million, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

The former governor also spent more in September, with his campaign using $17.5 million and Youngkin’s spending $9.5 million. In total, McAuliffe’s campaign has spent $36 million and Youngkin’s campaign has used $38.8 million this election cycle.

Virginia and New Jersey are holding the only statewide elections this year, with polls suggesting that Virginia’s elections are the more competitive of the two. Cash continues to flood into Virginia’s governor’s race and notable figures in national politics have campaigned with McAuliffe and Youngkin.

“National parties, national figures, national media attention is on this race; there’s nothing else to kind of suck up the oxygen as far as politics goes,” 8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher said.

The top donors for both candidates in September were political action committees for their party’s respective governors associations. During the reporting period, DGA Action donated $1.1 million to McAuliffe and RGA Right Direction gave $1.5 million to Youngkin. The Democratic Party of Virginia also donated $1.1 million to McAuliffe’s campaign, according to VPAP.

“We have lots of money coming in from out of state. Even if it’s not sinister, there’s still ways to disguise that money or to just not attached it to a particular name or you can have a PAC or a political action committee that gets donations from lots of different places,” Meagher said.

Third-party candidate Princess Blanding, running under the newly-formed Liberation Party, raised $8,367 last month and has $6,339 on hand. Blanding has brought in a little over $30,000 during her campaign.

Similar to McAuliffe, the other two Democrats running for statewide office have outraised their Republican counterparts this election cycle. But the only incumbent on the statewide ticket, Attorney General Mark Herring, was edged out by his Republican challenger Jason Miyares in the last reporting period.

Del. Miyares (Virginia Beach) got roughly $1.4 million in campaign donations in the last month and Herring reported raising about $1.3 million. The AG does, however, have more money in his war chest, with $1.9 million on hand, compared to the roughly $858,000 Miyares has left to spend.

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala raised $1.6 million in September, compared to the $575,000 brought in by her Republican rival Winsome Sears. Del. Ayala (Prince William) has more than $1 million on hand and Sears, a former state delegate, has nearly $481,000 in cash on hand.

Virginia voters will cast their ballot for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in the election. All 100 House of Delegates seats, certain local races and referendums will also be on ballot.

Early voting started Sept. 17 in Virginia and early in-person voting ends Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 2.

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