August 16th, 2010
04:26 PM ET
12 years ago

McDonnell becomes big draw for GOP candidates

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has become a key fundraiser for the GOP."]

Washington (CNN) - Potential presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have grabbed headlines this year for handing out pivotal endorsements in key midterm races, but Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has quietly become one of the most sought after attractions on the GOP money circuit.

McDonnell is headlining a fundraiser at Altria headquarters in Richmond on Monday for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who faces a difficult re-election challenge from former Houston Mayor Bill White.

Next month, he'll team up with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to raise cash for Marco Rubio, Florida's Republican candidate for Senate.

In all, aides to McDonnell say that by mid-September, McDonnell will have held 15 fundraising events for out-of-state candidates.

"The campaigns are coming to us," McDonnell's political adviser Phil Cox told CNN. "What the out-of-state candidates are seeing is, he ran a model campaign in a competitive state. He is providing an example for how Republicans can govern by balacing the budget though cutting spending and not raising taxes, which is in marked contrast to what's coming out of D.C."

Among those who have already tapped into McDonnell's fundraising muscle: gubernatorial candidates such as Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback in Kansas, Brian Dubie in Vermont and Bob Ehrlich in Maryland.

Naturally, most of the requests are coming from Republicans hoping to become governor. There's one McDonnell fundraiser coming up in Cincinnati for John Kasich, the GOP's nominee in Ohio.

He's also slated to raise money for Republicans in targeted governor's races out West: Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

But federal candidates like Rubio are also looking for help from the Virginia governor. McDonnell will travel to St. Louis in the coming weeks to raise money for Roy Blunt, and he'll host a Washington, D.C. event for California's Carly Fiorina in September.

Rubio adviser Todd Harris said out-of-state events like the McDonnell fundraiser have a long-term impact. Raising money with one of the party's newest stars, he said, is a way for candidates to tap into fresh sources of money and build their network of support.

"Donor lists go stale faster than old bread," Harris told CNN. "Gov. McDonnell's popularity and recent victory puts him in a perfect position to help us raise our profile with the Virginia donor community."

Filed under: 2010 • Bob McDonnell • Virginia
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Gene Smith

    I live in Virginia, and I will tell you Bob McDonnell has done a great job in less than a year in office. He has reduced spending to the degree that the Commonwealth now has a $200+ million dollar surplus. He is focusing state spending on job creation instead of longer unemployment. He has landed a large defense contractor (McDonnell Douglas) who will move their corporate headquarters from California ( a socialist mecca) to Fairfax County, Virginia. The man is using tried and true methods to position the state to really excel economically. Our neighboring states have to rely on gambling and tax increases to continue their increased spending. Maryland has driven off many of their high income people because of ridiculous taxation. So, if Bob McDonnell is a rightwing nut, the country will be served very well by having more of them.

    August 16, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Donnatella

    I have to disagree with Buster, we hate Christie in NJ, I am so tired of the pundits and people that don't live in the state commenting on Christie he is a horror, all he does is look out for the wealthy in our state , our property taxes are going up and services are going down, he is destroying our schools, and no I am not a public worker. Whatever you do in November don't vote republican, I have so many regrets I will never do it again.

    August 16, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Disbelief

    Yeah, we have seen what Republican "conservatives" have done for our country: Crashed our economy, gross mismanagement, bungled and corrupt domestic policiy, bungled and corrupt foreign policy, spat on the Constitution, spat on the Bill of Rights, spat on freedom of speech. They lie, slander, disrupt and obstruct. Destroy the lives of Americans just so they can – destroy the lives of Americans! Hell, you could fill the National Archives with Republican corruption. There are very few real conservatives in the United States!

    August 16, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Disbelief

    Beware the devil when he has his hand on your shoulder.....

    August 16, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. John in McLean

    Governor McDonnell for President!

    August 16, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. Susan in NC

    Ask the folks in Virginia how their education budgets were cut and how their public health care budget has been slashed. They bought themselves a "pig in a poke" and are now finding that McDonnell is NOT what they thought he'd be. Sorry, folks, you voted for him - now you're stuck with him!

    August 16, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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