The House of Delegates race between Republican Charles Poindexter of Franklin County and Democrat Ward Armstrong of Henry County cost nearly $2.4 million, far surpassing the cost of any House race in the state, according to aggregate campaign finance data compiled today by the Virginia Public Access Project.
Only one other House race in the state cost more than $1 million.
Armstrong, the House minority leader, saw his 20-year career in the General Assembly ended in the state’s most expensive and closely watched House race. Reports filed today with the state board of elections indicate that each candidate spent more than $1 million.
With redistricting diluting competition and Republicans already holding a dominant majority in the House, the GOP spared little expense helping Poindexter knock Armstrong out of office. Armstrong moved into Poindexter’s 9th House District after Republicans collapsed the Democrat’s district in the reapportionment process.
Thirteen Senate races cost more than $1 million and Southwest and Southside Virginia had some of the state’s most expensive contests, according to VPAP. Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell County, held off a challenge from Republican Adam Light of Tazewell County in race that cost more than $2.4 million. Only one Senate race in the state cost more.
The hard-fought 20th District contest that Republican Bill Stanley of Franklin County won over incumbent Democrat Roscoe Reynolds of Henry County and independent Jeff Evans cost $2.2 million. And the race between Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, and Republican Dave Nutter of Christiansburg, which Edwards won, cost $1.5 million.
The totals in today’s reports reflect activity through Dec. 1. Final campaign finance figures will be available in January.
– Michael Sluss