Last minute money is streaming into some campaigns across Virginia.
Candidates across Virginia are awash in last-minute campaign cash, an indication of just how competitive this year’s election is for the General Assembly. The top recipient is Nancy Guy, the Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Delegate Chris Stolle in Virginia Beach. She took in more than $400,000 since last week.
Former Republic Delegate David Ramadan at George Mason University says this year’s fundraising numbers are eye popping. “Last minute big donations are not unusual. The magnitude of it this time is unusual. I don’t recall something of up to a half a million dollars happening last minute in the last three or four cycles.”
This cycle is seeing a particular focus in Virginia Beach, where Democratic strategist Ben Tribbett says the low turnout creates a lot of bang for the buck. “Turnout can tend to be in Virginia Beach less than half of the number of voters who vote in a Northern Virginia district. So even when the percentage margins can be wider, the number of raw votes needed are actually very small. And so I think the Democrats are sensing an opportunity to steal some seats in Virginia Beach this cycle.”
Money will keep flowing in through election day and beyond. Many special interests make a point of donating to campaigns after the election when lawmakers are preparing for the General Assembly session that starts in January.