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Hurt outraises Perriello, but Democrat has cash edge

Ben Pershing

Updated 1:27 p.m.
Virginia state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) outraised Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in the third quarter of the year, but the incumbent has more cash to spend in the frenzied three weeks before Election Day.

Hurt's campaign announced recently that it had raised $917,000 from July through September, a big jump over the $261,000 he raised in the previous three months. The total also topped Perriello, who said Tuesday that he had raised $810,000 in the third quarter and had $1.3 million in the bank as of Sept. 30. Hurt's campaign declined to reveal how much cash it had left, but the number is certainly lower than Perriello's given the amount Hurt had on hand --- $216,000 -- at the start of the quarter.

Hurt's strong quarter demonstrates that his campaign is generating more enthusiasm than it had been and getting more attention from across the country, as donors note that Virginia's 5th district is one of the GOP's best pickup opportunities. But Perriello remains one of the best fundraisers among House Democrats, and is already putting his cash advantage to use.

Perriello is on the air in the Roanoke market with a new ad hitting Hurt for backing a bill he says resulted in higher electric rates in parts of the district:

"How do most Virginia families react to their electric bills? Pure shock," says the ad's narrator, as a procession of people (and cats) are shown with their hair standing straight up. "That's because Senator Robert Hurt voted for a bill that's raised your electric rates seven times. Rates have gone up over 50 percent."

The spot concludes with the line, "Hurt is so out of touch, it's just plain shocking."

The debate over electric rates has been a heated one in this race. Perriello has repeatedly made the same charge he does in the new ad. Hurt's campaign has argued forcefully that the state Senate vote in question did not lead to the rate increases, and that Perriello's vote for "cap and trade" legislation was much worse in terms of raising the cost of electricity.

"When it comes to these false negative attack ads, Congressman Perriello's loose relationship with the truth emphasizes how quickly and willingly he has embraced the corrupt Washington-style mudslinging that puts him out of step with the values of Central and Southside Virginians," Hurt spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in response to the new ad.

By Ben Pershing  | October 13, 2010; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Robert Hurt, Tom Perriello  
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Perriello's 10 points behind. This isn't going to cut it.

Posted by: Simon23p | October 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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