- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Democrats running to unseat GOP Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District are sitting on about a half million dollars after the first fundraising quarter of the year — putting them on stronger financial footing than any of the incumbent’s prior rivals.

Abigail Spanberger announced Tuesday that she has pulled in $338,000 since the beginning of the year, bringing her fundraising total to over $700,000 and leaving her with $475,000 in the bank a couple months out from her June 12 primary race against fellow Democrat Dan Ward.

Mr. Ward, meanwhile, pulled in $245,000, pushing his fundraising total over $800,000 and leaving him with $520,000 cash on hand, his campaign said.

The Brat campaign has yet to release its latest fundraising numbers and did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The deadline for federal candidates to file campaign finance reports is April 15.

Mr. Brat, who shocked the political universe by toppling House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary, is seen as a slight favorite to keep his seat.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election tracker, rates the race as “Lean Republican.”

Mr. Brat had the fundraising edge coming into the quarter after closing out last year with almost $470,000 in the bank, followed by Mr. Ward with $415,000 and Mrs. Spanberger with nearly $290,000.

Mr. Brat outraised his Democrat challenger in the 2016 election by about $1 million and in the 2014 election by more than $900,000, according to campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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