- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell’s unchallenged bid for his party’s nomination is paying off.

The former attorney general outpaced his three potential Democratic rivals during the last fundraising period — April 1 to May 27 — before their party’s primary by raising $3.7 million, his campaign said.

The four gubernatorial candidates were required to file their latest campaign-finance reports with the state elections board on Monday, and Mr. McDonnell, who last weekend was officially named the state Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee, will head into the summer with $4.9 million to spend.

Mr. McDonnell’s total was bolstered by a $1.5 million donation from the Republican National Committee on May 7 and a $750,000 donation from the Republican Governors Association on May 11, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

The Virginia governor’s race is one of two gubernatorial contests this year and has attracted nationwide attention in what became a battleground state in last year’s presidential election.

“We continue to build the resources we need to win this November,” McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox said. “And we are doing this while our potential opponents are waging an expensive and increasingly negative primary race.”

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe continued to lead his two Democratic competitors — state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former Delegate Brian J. Moran — in the money race, by bringing in $1.8 million during the last period, according to his campaign.

The prolific fundraiser known for his national political contacts has raised more than $6.9 million total and spent $3 million during the last reporting period, his campaign said.

Mr. McAuliffe has nearly $1.2 million on hand, officials said. His latest donor list includes $200,000 cash from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; $100,000 from Rajiv K. Fernando, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago-based company Chopper Trading LLC, and $100,000 from Edith Wasserman, wife of the late Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman.

Mr. Moran raised about $844,000 during the last period. The former House Democratic Caucus chairman has raised $3.8 million total and has more than $700,000 on hand for the final days of the primary, his campaign said.

The remaining cash on hand will pay for media and efforts to get out the vote, Moran officials said.

During the latest period, Mr. Moran received donations of $50,000 from the congressional committee of his brother, Rep. James P. Moran, which has given him $175,000 since last year; $25,000 from Microsoft; and $100,000 from Barbara J. Fried of the Virginia-based Fried Companies Inc.

“We are where we want to be to bring this race home to victory on June 9,” Moran campaign chairman Mame Reiley said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Deeds - a dark horse candidate who earned the endorsement of The Washington Post last month and has shown a surge in voter support of late - raised more than $676,000 during the last period.

The Bath County senator garnered about $180,000 from the time he received The Post endorsement on May 22 and the end of the reporting period on May 27. He collected contributions of $50,000 from Northern Virginia consultant Edward H. Rice and $40,000 from Austin Ligon, the former president of CarMax Inc.

He has roughly $521,000 on hand.

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