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In the 5th Congressional District: A candidate who's in it to win

Amy Gardner

Jim McKelvey, a Smith Mountain Lake real estate developer and one of seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge freshman Democrat Tom Perriello in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, has loaned his campaign $500,000, according to the latest reports with the Federal Election Commission.

This is pretty interesting since some conservative activists in the district have been hoping to unite behind a single conservative candidate in order to block state Sen. Robert Hurt, who is viewed as too moderate by some but is enjoying the backing and financial support of national and state Republican Leaders.

McKelvey's disclosure that he's loaning himself such a big chunk of money signals that he's got no plans of stepping away any time soon. That distinction applies to Laurence Verga too, another real estate developer from Albermarle County who has loaned himself $214,000.

Perhaps this is good news for all the supporters out there for Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated in 2008. Conservatives say they will pressure Goode into the race if they can't persuade like-minded candidates to unite -- a prospect that appears unlikely now.

By Amy Gardner  |  January 27, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Election 2010 , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello  
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