Some Incumbents Facing Stiff Fundraising Challenges from Opponents

Jul 17, 2019

The latest round of campaign-finance documents are shedding new light on the contours of Election 2019.

13 Republican incumbent members of the General Assembly were outraised by their Democratic opponents in the latest round of campaign-finance disclosures. The list includes people like Speaker Kirk Cox, Fairfax Delegate Tim Hugo and Midlothian Senator Glen Sturtevant.

Republican strategist Dan Scandling says any incumbent who isn’t keeping up with fundraising is in trouble.

Credit NPR

“If I’m an incumbent, and I’m being outraised it’s time to ring the fire bell. That is a problem," Scandling explains. "And if I’m an incumbent and I’m being outraised and my challenger has got a lot of low-dollar contributions, I’m running really, really scared.”

Five Democratic incumbents are also being outraised. That list includes Prince William Delegate Danica Roem and Richmond Delegate Dawn Adams.

Democratic strategist Ben Tribbett says some of the candidates may not be currently engaged in a lot of fundraising because they think they’ve already got enough money to win. 

“In some of the contested districts, like Dick Saslaw’s, voters were expressing chronic unhappiness with the amount of contacts they were getting from campaigns," Tribbett says. "And so you’ve got to be careful not to spend so much you alienate people also.”

Overall, the House Democratic Caucus and Senate Democrats are raising more money than their counterparts on the other side of the aisle.

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