WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe is flexing his fundraising muscle in the Virginia governor's race.
McAuliffe, who began seeking for the commonwealth's top job last fall but only officially entered the race this month, revealed on Monday that he's raised almost $1 million for his campaign in just six weeks.
It took McAuliffe’s rivals for the Democratic nomination - former state delegate Brian Moran and state senator Creigh Deeds - six months to raise that amount, according to campaign finance reports, and both of them have been running for governor for more than a year. (Both candidates, however, were legally barred from raising money during last winter's two-month legislative session.)
Cautious of giving the impression that the longtime ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton is using his extensive national rolodex to finance his race, McAuliffe's campaign pointed out that less than $40,000 came from out of state.
His campaign manager Mike Henry told donors in a memo that “we have concentrated on raising money from Virginia donors to get a good sense of what Virginians thought about Terry’s potential candidacy.”
Moran has challenged his Democratic rivals to reject out-of-state money during the primary campaign.
“This election should be about who has a proven record of fighting for Virginia families and a vision for where to take the state,” Moran said on WTOP radio January 2. “It should not be an election about who can raise more money from national donors. Virginia Democrats should choose our nominee.”
The Democrats face off in a June 9 primary. The winner will take on the Republican nominee, Virginia attorney general Bob McDonnell, in November.