Story by Chris Graham
Fifth District Republican congressional-nomination candidates Robert Hurt and Laurence Verga released their campaign-fundraising numbers for the most recent financial quarter on Thursday, and based on the numbers the two appear to be on quite the collision course heading into the June party primary.
Hurt, a state senator representing the Danville area, has raised $293,408 and has more than $259,000 in cash on hand, according to his report. Verga, a commercial real-estate businessman in Albemarle, is just a tick behind, reporting campaign receipts at $287,604 and cash on hand at $217,835.
“It is clear from the state senator’s finance report that he is the preferred choice of Richmond lobbyists and Washington insiders. However, their support will not buy the votes of the citizens of the Fifth District, who have not forgotten his continuous lying about his atrocious record of voting for higher taxes six times, including the largest tax increase in Virginia history and trying to raise taxes unconstitutionally. His report only further confirms that I am the only conservative candidate that can go toe-to-toe with him, as I have reported over $217,000 cash on hand,” Verga said in a statement released this afternoon.
According to the Federal Election Commission electronic fundraising database, the bulk of Verga’s campaign monies to date have come in the form of self-financing – with the line item for candidate contribution at $62,690 and the line item for candidate loans at $213,889.
The Hurt report is not updated on the FEC database. A press release from the Hurt campaign makes the claim that the majority of Hurt’s money came from the Fifth District, and over 80 percent came from in-state donors.
“I’m incredibly humbled by and grateful to all of the people who have recognized the importance of this campaign and the promise of my candidacy,” Hurt said in a statement in the release. “I’m proud to announce that we were able to raise nearly $300,000 in less than two months, even during the Christmas holidays. We owe our early success to grassroots Republicans in Central and Southside Virginia who believe in our campaign’s conservative message.
“I’m delighted to note that we exceeded our fundraising goals and appear to have raised more money from district residents than any other Republican in the race. Defeating Tom Perriello in November will not be easy, and it will take someone who can persuade hard-working folks from Danville to Charlottesville that this cause is worth their time and investment,” Hurt said.
None of the reports of the other five announced candidates for the GOP nomination have been posted to the FEC website as of this report.