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Several challengers are outraising incumbents in General Assembly races


Campaign finance numbers are revealing the state of some contested races heading into the June 20th primary.

When an incumbent member of the General Assembly is being outraised by a challenger, political analysts say that's a red flag. And the latest campaign finance disclosures show several incumbent members are falling behind the competition: Senator Joe Morrissey, Senator Amanda Chase and Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler.

That shows controversial candidates are not appealing to the donor base, says David Ramadan at George Mason University's Schar School.

"All three of those candidates have dealt with controversy," Ramadan explains. "All three of those candidates have had issues, and that's why the donor base is looking at alternative candidates to these incumbents. Thus, the under-performance in raising money for their primary."

But money isn't everything. J. Miles Coleman at the UVA Center for Politics says Amanda Chase might still be able to win despite coming in last place in fundraising.

"She was outraised by her two main opponents," Coleman says. "But something I think is working in Chase's favor is that this is a multi-way race. It's not just a one on one."

Two other incumbents are also falling behind: Senator Lionell Spruill and Delegate Marie March. But they’re both facing other incumbents because of new maps created by court-drawn redistricting.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.