WASHINGTON – Virginia’s race for governor could be the most expensive in the state’s history and so far much of the money is coming from out-of-state donors.
The Virginia Public Access Project, which monitors campaign spending, says about 28 percent of the overall money donated so far has come from Virginia residents.
“No candidate for governor has ever gotten less than half of his money from Virginia,” says VPAP Director David Poole. As of Monday, about three-quarters of the donations came from outside the state.
“There’s a lot of people out trying to turn the Virginia race into a proxy for whatever issues they think is important on the federal level,” Poole says.
About $30 million has been donated so far. The largest amount ever spent during a campaign for Virginia governor was the more than $46 million spent in 2005 when Tim Kaine beat Jerry Kilgore.
The biggest single donor for Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic Governor’s Association, which has given him $4.9 million so far, according to VPAP’s online records.
Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli has received $6.7 million from the Republican Governor’s Association, his largest campaign contributor, according to VPAP.
Also, Cuccinelli is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from out-of-state coal and gas companies.
Among McAuliffe’s other big donors are several large national labor unions and environmental groups, which donated more than $1 million. The law firm of Peter Angelos, which also owns the Baltimore Orioles, donated $250,000.
Both candidates received $15,000 from St. Louis-based brewer Anheuser-Busch.