WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee said Wednesday it will pump $5 million into the commonwealth of Virginia over the next two months to help put Creigh Deeds in the governor's mansion.
The money will be doled out to Deeds' campaign and to the Democratic Party of Virginia's coordinated campaign. The $5 million infusion matches the sum given by the DNC in 2005 to then-candidate Tim Kaine, who won the race. Kaine himself is now chairing the DNC, and losing this year's marquee race in his own backyard could prove embarrassing.
"Chairman Kaine knows a thing or two about winning elections in Virginia - and he knows more than a thing or two about Creigh Deeds and how well prepared he is to be a solid, practical, mainstream Governor of Virginia," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in an e-mail.
The cash influx will help Deeds purchase television ads in the expensive Washington media market - especially as his campaign tries to highlight Republican Bob McDonnell's controversial master's thesis, in which he called working women "detrimental" to families. Woodhouse called the revelations about McDonnell's thesis "a real turning point in this election."
McDonnell, leading in the polls, said his views on several social issues have changed in the two decades since he wrote the thesis at age 34 - but that hasn't stopped the Deeds campaign from assailing the Republican as too conservative for moderate and independent voters.
The Democratic Governors Association has also spent heavily on the race, having chipped in $3.5 million so far, much of it on an ad campaign earlier this year that attacked McDonnell.
Shortly after the DNC announcement, the Republican Party of Virginia immediately accused Kaine of being more concerned with politics than governing.
"There has never been any doubt that the Partisan-in-Chief Tim Kaine would try to ride to the rescue for Creigh Deeds," said party spokesman Tim Murtaugh. "He can't leave an actual legacy as governor, so he may as well try to buy one. We expected nothing else."
Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET:
McDonnell spokeswoman Crystal Cameron responded, saying that "no amount of money can make up for Creigh Deeds’ lack of vision when it comes to moving Virginia forward."
"Maybe Creigh can use that money to buy some policy proposals that will actually improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth," she said.