Virginia House Democrats play up fundraising edge, diversity

Democrats running for seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are raising more money than their Republican opponents, and from a far wider base of donors.

In the April 1-May 30 reporting period, Democratic candidates raised $2.675 million from 14,084 individual donors, an average of $189.96 per donation.

Democrats Republicans

Credit: jgroup

Republican candidates raised $2.195 million from 3,800 donations, an average of $577.68 per donation.

That would seem to indicate more big-money donors, and PACs, giving money to Republicans, and Democrats are touting two examples from the April 1-May 30 reports: an April donation of $50,000 from televangelist Pat Robertson to Del. Todd Gilbert, and a May donation from the NRA to the House Republican Campaign Committee for $12,000.

“It’s no surprise that House Republicans are raking in big dollar contributions,” said House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Trevor Southerland. “We know, however, that the true strength of a campaign is the number of donors willing to contribute their hard-earned money to help that candidate communicate with more voters. It’s clear that House Democrats continue to enjoy the enthusiastic support of grassroots donors.”

Locally, Jennifer Lewis, the Democratic nominee in the 20th House District, which includes the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, Highland County, and portions of Augusta County and Nelson County, is more than holding her own with the two Republicans vying for that party’s nomination in the money race.

Lewis has raised $37,938.30 to date for her campaign, including $17,679 in the April 1-May 30 period, from 228 donors, an average of $77.53 per donation.

Former Staunton mayor John Avoli, who is running for the Republican nomination, has raised $36,248 to date for his campaign, including $5,356 in the April 1-May 30 reporting period, from 24 donors, an average of $223.17 per donor.

Avoli’s opponent in the 20th House GOP race, Dave Bourne, has raised $31,637 for his campaign to date, including $6,356 in the April 1-May 30 reporting period, from 13 donors, an average of $488.92 per donor.

Reporting by Chris Graham

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