Well, there’s lots of money in race to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor.
It’s not that presiding over the state Senate, which is the one job the winner would get, is all that thrilling.But being lieutenant governor can be a stepping stone to the Governor’s Mansion.
So far, in the seven way race for the GOP convention’s nod, candidates have spent or have on hand a total of $1.9 million.
The two Democrats running in the June primary have spent or have in hand $1.6 million.
A glance at their latest filings shows some interesting patterns – one of which is that some of the big money flowing in is not coming from people who have not been big givers in state politics previously.
Peter Snyder, the Northern Virginia businessman who has raised, and spent, the most to win the GOP convention’s nomination, received $15,000 from Worth Wearing LLC, a company that is not registered with the State Corporation Commission and which has not given to a Virginia candidate before.
Of his other five-figure donors, including a former Reagan-era ambassador, the president of a wall-systems firm, and an Illinois-based metal processor, only one, Property Services Inc. has given money in Virignia before – and it gave to one of Snyder’s rivals, Corey Stewart, in his successful run to be chairman of the Prince William County Supervisors.
Stewart’s one five-figure giver, John Connor, was a backer in that county race, as well.
Roanoke retiree Peter L. Via, who gave a total of $50,000 to the firey E.W. Jackson, is a newcomer to state political giving, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. He has been active in federal campaigns, though, giving a total of $109,000 in the 2012 election cycle, all to GOP candidates or committees.
Del. Scott Lingamfelter’s biggest givers may look familiar. Richmond business magnates Bruce Gottwald and William H. Goodwin Jr. have long been big players in central Virginia politics.
Jeannemarie Davis received $100,000 from her husband, former Rep. Tom Davis. She also received $50,000 from the Main Street Advocacy Fund, and $20,000 from Main Street Virginia Political Action Committee. She also received $10,000 from Mythics Inc., a company which last gave money in 2005, to Bob McDonnell’s run for attorney general.
State Sen. Steve Martin’s biggest donor is his own senate campaign fund, for a toal of $6,300. Martin is the only one of the seven whose spending and current war chest is less than six figures. He has spent and now has on hand just $32,000.
Susan Stimpson, chairwoman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, like Martin, has had no five-figure givers. Of the seven people or companies that gave $5,000, four have given to other Virginia races. Two, Harry H. Hunt III, of Blacksburg and Old Potomac LLC, which recently won a green light for a 54 acre medical office complex from the Stafford County board, also gave $5,000 to Corey Stewart.
Democratic hopeful Ralph Northam is using $240,000 from his state senate campaign fund and his own resources.
Aneesh Chopra is using $44,000 from his exploratory campaign’s fund, and has received $25,000 each Northern Virginia tech businessman Michael Saylor, who has given to Democrats in the past, and Charlottesville hedge fund manager Ted Weschler, another Democratic giver. The five other donors who’ve given five-figure sums are all newcomers to state political giving.