Yost gets another $80K for 12th House District race
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Robert Kempton’s name.
Republican Joseph Yost has another $80,045 for his run for the 12th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The contribution from the Republican Party of Virginia was an in-kind donation of broadcast media ads, reported the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign finances. The new donation brings Yost’s campaign fund-raising total to more than $240,000, about five times the amount raised by his Democratic opponent Don Langrehr.
Most of Yost’s money has come from Republican groups outside the 12th District, which takes in Giles County, Radford, and parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties. Langrehr, most of whose money has come from district residents, has called the state GOP’s support for Yost an attempt to buy the election.
Yost’s campaign manager, David Ferguson, said tonight that there would be no comment on the new donation. Yost is “working hard to meet voters in person and by every means possible,” Ferguson said.
The 12th District race is Yost’s first bid for public office. A Giles County native and Blacksburg resident, Yost, 25, works for the Mental Health Alliance, training police officers in how to deal with mentally ill people. He has volunteered for Republican campaigns in the past and serves as the secretary of the Montgomery County GOP.
Langrehr, 53, is a two-term Blacksburg Town Councilman and Radford University professor who trains teachers.
Democrats have tried to highlight the gap between Langrehr and Yost’s experience in public office, and also that Yost has not appeared at most of the candidate forums to which the two candidates were invited. Yost’s campaign manager has explained that Yost had prior engagements that conflicted with some of the forums, and that others, such as a recent event in Prices Fork, were not clearly designated as welcoming state-level as well as local candidates.
“By avoiding five candidate forums, Yost and his handlers are obviously afraid to face the questions and scrutiny of voters,” Langrehr campaign manager Robert Kempton wrote in an email. “He’s a packaged candidate and their campaign is intent on purchasing democracy with money from special interest groups. Don Langrehr has been practicing democracy and open government since 2002 with strong admirable results, winning the respect of NRV residents. Don’s commitment to the New River Valley will continue well beyond this election.”
The central plank of Yost’s campaign is a promise to try to bring jobs to the district by reducing government regulation and spending. Langrehr has countered that government would do better to only give tax breaks and other standard development incentives to companies that pay a middle-class wage.