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McDonnell's Money

Anita Kumar

Now that we have told you a little about Democrat Creigh Deeds's money, we thought we would tell you a bit more about Republican Bob McDonnell's cash.

McDonnell's top donors in the two-month period that ended Aug. 31 were a combination of businesses, longtime Republican donors and, of course, the Republican National Committee, which gave him $350,000.

Top individual donors include Edward and Lynn Via of Roanoke ($150,000), chemical company executive Bruce C. Gottwald ($50,000), Dominion resources president Tom Farrell ($15,000), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's political action committee ($5,000).

Top non-individual donors include: the Virginia Association of Realtors ($60,000), Fluor Enterprises -- the company helping build HOT lanes on the Beltway -- ($15,000), law firm McGuire Woods's political action committee ($18,000) and the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly ($5,000).

Notably absent: Sheila C. Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network, who has been a major donor to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and other Democrats, but who endorsed McDonnell in July.

Both McDonnell and Deeds spent money on Facebook ads -- McDonnell $1,555 and Deeds $2,580 -- and Deeds spent another $3,095 on Google ads. They don't cost much, so both are relying heavily on Internet advertising -- more than has been seen in past elections.

Both candidates spent close to $2 million in July and August, primarily on staff and TV ads. Deeds also reimbursed the Democratic National Committee $14,000 to pay for President Barack Obama's and Vice President Joe Biden's travel expenses on campaign trips to Virginia for him. McDonnell spent $7,500 to rent a blue eight-seat RV to travel the state.

McDonnell received money from more donors, 6,200, nearly 2,800 more than Deeds, and more new donors, 4,946, nearly 2,700 more than Deeds.

Jerry W. Kilgore, the GOP nominee for governor in 2005 and one of McDonnell's chief fundraisers, said discontent with Washington was fueling Republican giving in Virginia -- more so than in his race against Kaine four years ago -- and that the fundraising letters included references to the national mood. "It's the anti-Washington sentiment,'' he said.

Deeds spokesman Jared Leopold said the campaign was proud of the "grassroots support we've gotten over the last several months. We've seen a dramatic uptick in grassroots donations and volunteering."

By Anita Kumar  |  September 17, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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