Terry McAuliffe Tops Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia Fundraising Heading into Final 50 Days

Article excerpt

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe raised $1.7 million more than Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli in fundraising over the summer, according to campaign finance reports released Monday.

McAuliffe hauled in $7.4 million during July and August compared with Cuccinelli's $5.7 million. McAuliffe also has more than twice as much cash on hand heading into the final two months of the bruising battle for the governor's mansion -- $5 million in the bank versus $2.2 million for Cuccinelli.

Both candidates received significant financial support from their respective parties. As much as two-thirds of Cuccinelli's reported donations came from the Republican Governors Association, which pitched in $3.7 million.

The Democratic Governors Association gave McAuliffe $2.7 million.

The average poll in Virginia shows McAuliffe with a seven-point lead, according to Real Clear Politics, with just 50 days to go. The former Democratic National Committee chairman on Monday scored the endorsement of Will Sessoms, the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state.

But Cuccinelli, who has reportedly reshuffled his campaign organization and has more willingly embraced conservatives recently after months of moving to the middle, is looking to build momentum from an endorsement to his campaign from TechPAC, the political arm of the influential Northern Virginia Technology Council. According to reports from the Washington Post, that endorsement was highly coveted by McAuliffe, whose campaign spent the weekend pressuring the TechPAC members to reconsider.

Ultimately TechPAC stood by the endorsement, but the NVTC distanced itself from the decision and said that the full board would not back a candidate.

TechPAC typically endorses more Republicans, but much has been made of the Northern Virginia business community's reticence to embrace Cuccinelli, the state's outspoken conservative attorney general. The endorsement of Cuccinelli suggests at least some business leaders are just as skeptical of McAuliffe, who has never held political office. …