Finance reports show Dems outraising opponents

By The Daily Progress staff reports

With Election Day fast approaching, the third quarter campaign finance data for races across Virginia show Democratic candidates out-raising their opponents.

In Virginia’s 5th Congressional District – which includes the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham Fluvanna, Greene, Madison, Nelson and the City of Charlottesville – Democrat Leslie Cockburn has crossed the $2 million mark in donations. The former journalist announced her candidacy in July 2017 and has been raising funds since then.

Cockburn’s campaign raised $1,140,628 during the 3rd quarter of 2018 and currently has $1,036,049 cash on hand, according to a news release. To date, Cockburn has raised a total of $2,435,636.

Early in the campaign, Cockburn made a pledge not to take corporate political action committee money, instead opting to use ActBlue – a nonprofit political action committee that provides software – to raise funds via smaller donations.

The Massachusetts-based group, which rose to prominence during the 2016 presidential run of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has allowed Democratic candidates to raise money from more individuals. All donations made via ActBlue of $200 or more have to be itemized.

According Cockburn campaign staffer Cooper Patterson, there have been 51,962 individual donors over the course of the election cycle, giving an average gift of $46.87. Cockburn has contributed $228,000 of her own funds to the campaign.

The Republican candidate, Denver Riggleman, entered the race in June after current Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, announced he would not seek reelection and would undergo treatment for alcoholism.

Riggleman has raised $685,541 and spent $379,521, leaving the campaign with $505,089 cash on hand, according to Riggleman campaign manager Joe Chelak.

Riggleman, the co-owner of the Nelson County-based Silverback Distillery, has received the maximum $5,000 donations from several prominent PACs and conservative figures, including the House Freedom Fund and Koch Industries, the latter of which has refused to fund Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart.

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In the 7th District – which includes the Central Virginia counties of Louisa and Orange – Democrat Abigail Spanberger drastically outraised incumbent Republican Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th.

Spanberger has raised $3.6 million, according to the Associated Press – the most of any congressional candidate in the state. An updated third quarter breakdown of these donations could not be found on the Federal Election Commission’s website, which only contains data through the end of the second quarter.

Brat has raised around a third of the amount Spanberger has in individual contributions – $1,187,943.

The third candidate in the mix – Libertarian Joe Walton – has raised significantly less than his opponents. According to FEC data, Walton has raised $1,812 from individual donations. Walton also has made $4,750 in personal loans to his own campaign, per FEC data.

This article provided by NewsEdge.