$6 Million House Race in Northern Virginia Dominates Campaign Finance Numbers

Oct 19, 2016

Barbara Comstock has raised more than $4 million. This photo is from Comstock's 2014 Election Night party when she first won her congressional seat.
Credit Associated Press

Virginia’s congressional candidates have raised a grand total of $20 million this election cycle. As Michael Pope reports, much of that comes from one or two particularly competitive seats.

The most expensive race in the state is in Northern Virginia, where freshman incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock is fighting to stay in Washington next year. She’s raised more than $4 million.

Frank Shafroth at George Mason University says much of it comes from outside groups: “There’s a lot of money going into those races where it’s close and where retaining an incumbent Republican is important if the R's are to retain the majority in the House of Representatives."

Northern Virginia Democrats Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly both raised about $2 million, significantly more than veteran Democrat Bobby Scott. And that sends a message, says Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University.

“This tells me that Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly are not going to go quietly into the night and let Governor McAuliffe pick Bobby Scott to sit in Tim Kaine’s Senate seat should Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine win the White House."

Fundraising numbers are also strong in the Fifth Congressional District, where Republican Robert Hurt is stepping down. Democrat Jane Dittmar has raised about $1 million while Republican Tom Garrett has raised less than half that.