– January 18, 2021 (Short)
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe entered 2021 with more money in the bank than all other candidates for governor combined, according to year-end campaign finance reports that were due Friday.
McAuliffe, who was expected to have a strong money advantage given his background in political fundraising and ties to national Democrats, began the year with more than $5.5 million on hand.
Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy reported almost $1.3 million on hand, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond reported about $633,000 and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax reported nearly $80,000.
Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, who just officially entered the field Jan. 1, reported about $7,000 on hand in his House of Delegates re-election account.
The new reports cover money raised in the second half of 2020, from July 1 through Dec. 31.
On the Republican side, former House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, reported about $690,000 between his gubernatorial and delegate fundraising accounts. Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, reported roughly $235,000 between her two accounts.
Two other Republican candidates, businessman Glenn Youngkin and former Trump administration Pentagon official Sergio de la Peña, entered the race after the fundraising deadline.
Republicans are still trying to sort out how they’ll pick their nominee. The party’s current preference is for a nominating convention, but some want to switch to a primary to allow more people to participate and avoid the logistical problems of trying to safely hold a mass gathering with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue well into 2021.
Democrats haven’t lost a statewide race since 2009, when former Gov. Bob McDonnell defeated a badly outspent Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath.
Deeds was also outspent by McAuliffe in that year’s Democratic primary yet he won the nomination by a large margin.
The McAuliffe campaign touted his overall fundraising for 2020, $6.1 million for the year, as a record-setting sum for the year prior to a gubernatorial election.
Money won’t be the only factor in a five-way Democratic primary. The party has said it plans to hold four debates before the June 8 primary, and candidates have just begun rolling out their policy platforms.
But with McAuliffe already enjoying strong name recognition as someone who’s already been governor once, his four competitors will be trying to raise their statewide profiles and reach voters who may not pay close attention to the statehouse.
More details on the campaign finance reports are available here from the Virginia Public Access Project.
With the start of the General Assembly session last week, Democratic candidates who currently hold office will have to put fundraising on hold due to Virginia’s ban on in-session fundraising. That won’t be an impediment for McAuliffe and Carroll Foy, who abruptly resigned from her House seat last year in part so she could continue to raise money.
Brian J. Moran was appointed by Governor McAuliffe in January 2014 and reappointed by Governor Northam in January 2018 as Virginia’s first Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security is comprised of 10 state agencies and includes the Homeland Security Division. Secretary Moran serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor and the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisor.
Throughout the course of his appointment, Secretary Moran has led the effort on numerous criminal justice reform and homeland security initiatives. The Virginia Department of Corrections enjoys the lowest recidivism rate in the nation for the third consecutive year. He has supervised the transformation of Virginia’s juvenile justice system. He negotiated raising the felony larceny threshold for the first time in 38 years. Secretary Moran also developed states’ response to permitted events and states’ preparedness for civil unrest after the events in Charlottesville in 2017.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Moran served as a long time County prosecutor in Arlington, Virginia. In 1996, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates representing the city of Alexandria and Fairfax County, a seat he held for 13 years. He championed and sponsored legislation in the areas of child abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug interdiction and elder abuse. He forged bipartisan coalitions and support to pass numerous pieces of legislation. Most notably, he created the felony drunk driving law and Alicia’s Law, which provides law enforcement the necessary tools to stop internet sexual predators from preying on our children.
Secretary Moran received his bachelor’s degree from Framingham State University and his Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 2015, he was awarded the President’s award by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. He was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council.