[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/13/art.bobmcdonnell.com.jpg caption="Republican Bob McDonnell, pictured, is running against Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor's race."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee is committing to spend more than $7 million on the Virginia governor's race, a party official told CNN on Tuesday.
That figure includes a sum of $400,000 that was transferred directly to the campaign of Republican candidate Bob McDonnell on Tuesday, and the nearly $2 million the RNC has already pumped into the race so far this year. The money will be shared between McDonnell's campaign and the Virginia Victory committee, a partnership between the RNC and the Republican Party of Virginia.
Subtracting the money already spent on the campaign, the RNC's financial commitment leaves McDonnell and other Virginia Republicans with roughly $5 million to spend with just under 50 days left in the governor's race, which is one of two marquee political battles in 2009 along with the New Jersey's governor's race
"Bob McDonnell is a proven leader in the state of Virginia and the RNC is fully committed to ensuring that the campaign has the resources necessary to elect Bob McDonnell the next Governor of Virginia," said Katie Wright, a spokeswoman for the RNC.
The RNC's cash infusion exceeds that of the Democratic National Committee, which announced earlier this month it plans to spend at least $5 million to support Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds.
DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan invoked McDonnell's controversial master's thesis in responding to the news.
"Since devastating revelations about Bob McDonnell's feelings regarding women in the workforce, marriage and equal pay, he's going to need every dollar he can get to run from his record," Sevugan said.
UPDATE: The Deeds campaign announced Tuesday that it had raised $3.5 million in July and August. The McDonnell campaign is expected to release its most recent fundraising figures later today.
UPDATE 2: McDonnell raised less than Deeds in July and August - $2.9 million - but his campaign is touting a $1.5 million cash-on-hand advantage over the Democrat. McDonnell had $5.8 million in the bank entering September.