January 15th, 2009
06:36 PM ET
14 years ago

Republican sitting pretty in Virginia governor's race

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the moment, at least, things are looking up for the GOP in Virginia.

Republican Bob McDonnell has more than $2 million in the bank to fund his 2009 bid for the Virginia’s governor’s mansion, putting him well ahead of all three of his potential Democratic rivals in the money race, according to fundraising figures released by each of the campaigns.

Thursday was the deadline for each campaign to file year-end finance reports with the Virginia State Board of Elections.

McDonnell raked in $1.6 million during the most recent six-month reporting period, which lasted from June to December, and most of his money came in after election day, when Barack Obama turned Virginia blue on the presidential level for the first time in 44 years.

While the Democrats are facing off in a potentially costly primary battle, McDonnell has already locked up the Republican nomination and is devoting much of his spare time to raising campaign cash. Earlier this month, McDonnell - Virginia's current Attorney General - held a pair of fundraisers with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

McDonnell now has more than twice as much money on hand as each of the Democrats in the governor’s race, including Terry McAuliffe, the well-connected former DNC chairman who officially entered the race in January and raised about $948,000 since he started collecting checks last fall. McAuliffe reported having about $718,000 on hand.

Despite that relatively modest number, McAuliffe has been in the race for only seven weeks and is expected to out raise and outspend all of the candidates as the campaign progresses.

State senator Creigh Deeds, a Democrat from Bath County, raised about $658,000 since June and ended the year with about $891,000 in the bank, about a quarter of a million more than he had six months ago.

Democrat Brian Moran, the former House delegate from Alexandria, raised roughly $755,000 since June and rustled up more than $2 million over the course of the year, but his campaign spent much of that war chest building their operation and finished 2008 with about $770,000 on hand.

Virginia's Democratic primary is scheduled for June 9.

Filed under: Virginia
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Jackman

    I would prefer we didn't have this party system. It only makes "us" against "them," for both sides. What hatred I have read on this board, people from both sides saying the other side is the "lowest form on life in the planet."

    Perhaps if there were no parties we could focus on the ideas and values of the people we are choosing to represent us, rather than the meaninglessness of the division of the party they belong to.

    January 15, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. German,Irish American

    Just think Heather, if those evil republicans didn't exist, no Abraham Lincoln, thus freedom from slavery set back at least 50 years, no civil rights bill, since a larger percentage of republicans than democrats voted for the bill. Not all would be lost however, we still would have Fannie and Freddie because democrats and government demanded that everyone should be given a loan, even the people that had no chance in hell of making the payments.

    January 15, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. Rick Sutter

    Bridg – because we believe in small government, hard work, free enterprise. Don't judge Republicans by Bush. He, like so many politicians, end up in the center trying to please everyone. Look how far Obama has drifted to the Right since he was elected. The last good Democrat was Kennedy. Look how far your party has drifted since those days. What Democrat could ever get elected again by daring to say, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."? I remember that speech. You will never again hear a Democrat say that. Now it's all about what the government can do for me. I just want the government to leave me the he** alone.

    January 15, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. El Diablo

    Rick and Randy.....you two sound like you would enjoy a round of footsie with Larry Craig or each other at the airport.

    January 15, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. bankrupt USA

    Politicians raising money from special interests and lobbyists so they can spend it on negative attack ads. So what else is new?

    January 15, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Jay

    As a resident of the great commonwealth of Virginia... please leave your partisan bull at home. By getting on your computer and anonymously spouting idiotic statements comparing Republicans to a group that murdered millions upon millions of people shows just how foolish you are. I can't figure out how people continue to be so vitriolic based on how one votes. We're all in it together. Grow up.

    January 15, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. legal in nc

    Contrary to liberal belief,, if you don't vote for a democrat it doesn't mean your an idiot or a Nazi. To me it seems that the left is more like the Nazis in that they want Israel (Jews) destroyed. All the comments about that situation have been against Israel.

    Most of you "wet behind the ear" kids that think that liberalism (socialist) is the way to save the world will hopefully grow out of it sooner than later.

    January 15, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Texas Trail Kitty

    Randy: Really, really, 'the Democratic party, they are like Nazi'? If they were, your sorry butt would be locked up somewhere until you saw things their way. Remember, the Republican party is the one that brought us Gitmo, Iraqi occupation, not to mention, the almost total destruction of our financial system, something that our enemies could only dream of doing. God bless Barack Obama for even wanting the job of president after the trainwreck that is Bush. All true American will pray that he finds a way to dig us out of this awful hole. People like you would rather see American crash and burn than to see a Democrat fix it. You know what? Why don't you research your ethnic background, then go to wherever your people came from? I'm sure it's a much better place than American. Buh-bye.

    January 15, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. Kelly

    Heather–McDonell, like all republicans for statewide office in the Commonwealth, will lose for a very, very long time. I just made an online contribution to McAuliffe. Please do the same. Plus side for us is–The dems tend to be better-educated, and have better jobs, so we have more cash to contribute. The repubs–Well, don't. Problem is, we tend to be more fractious, and to not join forces as fast as the repubs. I think that this is changing.

    January 15, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. WIlly Brown

    We already had 2 liberal democrats run us into the ground. Now they will be working with King Obama.

    January 15, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Justin from New Haven, CT

    The GOP has no shot in hell of being relevant in any capacity in the next four to eight years.

    January 15, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. SUE

    Terry McAuliffe The Clintons will help you

    January 15, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  13. Virginia Republican

    We don't need any more Dems in this state-we need our Republican administration back!

    January 15, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. too


    January 15, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. chuck


    January 15, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. Well Well Well

    The only way the GOP takes Virginia is if Terry McAuliffe is the candidate for the Democrats. As a Virginian, I will do everything in my power to ensure that the GOP does not take Virginia.

    January 15, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. Edwin Bowers

    Will Rogers, the great American Humorist, once said he did not belong to any organized political party, he is a Democrat. Time has proven him to be correct. The Democratic party, closer to a socialist party, will destroy this country from within because of no core values. Their Liberal ideas of Gays serving openly in the military, instant gradification, free love, legalizing drugs, crooked and deceitful politics and a host of other immoral and unethical practices will come back to haunt the American people. San Francisco should be renamed Soddom, and I can't decide if Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, or Boston sould be renamed Gomorrah. The last two years of a Democratic controlled congresshas shown that are confused and don't know how to lead. God help use.

    January 15, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  18. Tom in IL

    If you guys in VA want a dem governor we could give you Blagojevich. We dont want him anymore.

    January 16, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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