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GOP, for the most part, dominating local House money races

26th District Democrat Gene Hart is giving Republican incumbent Matt Lohr a run for his re-election money, literally. Aside from Hart, though, Democratic candidates contending for seats representing the Central Shenandoah Valley in Richmond are struggling to keep pace with their Republican counterparts.

Hart actually outraised Lohr in the Sept. 1-30 reporting period, according to reports both filed with the State Board of Elections this week. Hart took in $9,974.04 in the month of September, while Lohr raised $4,040 in the period.

Of Lohr’s total, $1,500 came from political action committees – the Altria Corporate Services PAC, the Virginia Coal Association PAC and the Virginia Hospital Association PAC. Hart did not receive any PAC monies in the period.

The two are nearly identical in fundraising year to date. Lohr has raised $89,698.53 for his campaign; Hart has raised $89,555.05 for his campaign.

The three races in the Greater Augusta area are being dominated moneywise by the GOP slate, with much of the advantage coming in PAC dollars. In the 20th District, Republican Dickie Bell outraised Democrat Erik Curren by a significant margin in September, $24,300.36 for Bell to $4,319.99 for Curren. Bell had $10,000 in PAC dollars in his coffers, with the PAC donors including the HBAV Build PAC, the Medical Society of Virginia PAC, The Good Fund, VADPAC, the Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association PAC, the Virginia Beer Wholesalers PAC, the Virginia Optometric Association PAC, the Virginia Wine Wholesalers PAC and the Waste Management PAC.

Bell’s campaign-finance report also contained $3,118 in in-kind contributions from the campaign of 20th District State Del. Chris Saxman, two PACs and two local businesses and a $1,000 contribution from the campaign of House Speaker Bill Howell.

The Bell report also listed $1,769.37 in debts remaining unpaid as of the Sept. 30 end to the reporting period.

Curren’s campaign-finance report listed two PAC contributions totaling $500 – from the Virginia AFL-CIO and Amalgamated Transit Union Local #689.

In the 24th District, Republican Ben Cline raised $21,634.97 in September to outpace Democratic challenger Jeff Price’s $2,785 fundraising total. PACs contributed $8,900 to the Cline total in the period, with the PAC money to Cline coming from the Altria Client Services PAC, the American Insurance Association PAC, the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield PAC, the Bank of America PAC, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. PAC, DOCPAC of Virginia, Dominion PAC, the Farmers Insurance PAC, Owens-Illinois, The Good Fund, the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association PAC, the Virginia Cable Telecommunications PAC, the Virginia Optometric Association PAC and Virginia Retail Federation PAC.

Price had one PAC donor in September – the Transportation Construction Alliance PAC contributed $1,000 to his campaign.

In the 25th, Republican Steve Landes collected $25,286.66 in contributions in September while Democrat Greg Marrow raised $3,395 in the reporting period. PAC money accounted for $10,075 of the Landes cash haul – with the PAC donors including Dominion PAC, the Electric Cooperatives of VA Action Committee, GlaxoSmithKline PAC, NVTC Tech PAC, Red Storm PAC, VADPAC, the Virginia Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics, the Virginia Chiropractic PAC, the Virginia Coal Association PAC and the Virginia Optometric Association PAC.

Marrow’s September totals included a $250 donation from the Laborers Political Education Fund Mid-Atlantic.


– Story by Chris Graham


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