Home Personal Loans Republicans rush to take on Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th District

Republicans rush to take on Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th District

Republicans rush to take on Abigail Spanberger in Virginia's 7th District
Republicans rush to take on Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th District
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Determine who is the Republican which frontrunner may be in Virginia’s crowded 7th congressional district primary largely depends on how one wants to define “the frontrunner.”

If it’s money, then Stafford County Board Chair Crystal Vanuch (R) is declaring itself a precursor in the competitive six-man race. She noted in a message to supporters this month that she had raised nearly half a million dollars in just 45 days — a huge sum in a short period that drove a GOP campaign strategist into the 7th to tell the Washington Post that if that were the case, everyone should stop now.

But there is a catch. According to her campaign finance report released Friday, the vast majority of the $483,000 raised by Vanuch came from one person: herself.

Vanuch, CEO of his own public affairs firm, raised $83,000 from donors, while loaning $400,000 to his campaign. And in a crowded race where candidates with similar platforms are vying to reach as many voters as possible, this large infusion of personal cash could definitely make the difference in getting his message across, said Zack Roday, a Republican campaign consultant. based in Virginia.

“The main point is resources – how they come matters, but at the end of the day, a resource advantage is always a resource advantage,” Roday said. “Every campaign seeks to obtain every advantage possible, as they can, and in [Vanuch’s] case, the possibility of doing so creates more uncertainty on the ground. If someone can make $400,000, what else can they do? This adds a level of uncertainty to the race that other campaigns need to consider now.

Still, Roday said he doesn’t think “anyone is the frontrunner” in the primary. From the top Republican contenders to challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D), neither candidate is clearly running away with the grassroots fundraising lead.

Prince William County Board Supervisor Yesli Vega (R), a sheriff’s deputy who led Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) Latinos for Youngkin campaign, raised more than $350,000 this quarter and has nearly $294,000. Lawyer and former Green Beret Derrick Anderson is neck and neck with State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania). Anderson raised $231,000 this time, with $371,000 in hand, and Reeves — a veteran, former narcotics agent and insurance salesman — brought in $268,000, with nearly $390,000 in hand.

Infusing campaigns with large personal loans is not uncommon for well-resourced candidates, including Youngkin, a former private equity executive, as Vanuch’s campaign noted in a statement to the Washington Post. He poured $20 million of his own fortune into his gubernatorial campaign last year – a race that broke fundraising records – and in messages to supporters he announced his advantage in fundraiser, just like Vanuch did this month.

Vanuch’s campaign said in the statement that entering in February, much later than the other candidates, gave Vanuch just 45 days to ramp up her campaign as she focused on getting around the district and bolstering the grassroots support.

“As a small business woman, Crystal understands that a significant personal investment – ​​both of time and money – is required to be successful in a campaign, and as evidenced by our Q1 Fundraising Report , she is fully committed to winning this seat,” the statement read. , noting that she now has $450,000 – “much more than any of her opponents” – on hand ahead of the final two months of the campaign.

Whoever wins the Republican primary in the 7th district on June 21 will find a formidable opponent in the person of Spanberger, the two-term Democrat and former CIA officer. Spanberger, who has a war chest of nearly $4 million, toppled the 7th District Blue in 2018.

While the Republican candidates both have similar resources and similar policy platforms — “parental rights” in education, election integrity, the Second Amendment and national defense, among others — Roday said the race primary would boil down to the strongest base game.

“Who is able to create separation?” he said. “This fundraising report shows that they are all going to have the resources to stay even where they are spending, so who is going to organize the grassroots campaign and win, piece by piece, the people who are listened to in their community or sphere. influence? »

National Republicans are targeting the three seats Democrats flipped in 2018, including Rep. Elaine Luria, in the Virginia Beach-anchored 2nd District, and Rep. Jennifer Wexton, in the Loudoun-anchored 10th. In a midterm election expected to be a referendum on President Biden and the economy, Republicans are most optimistic in the 2nd and 7th districts – President Biden won in 2020 but Youngkin won in 2021 .

Go. Republican congressional hopefuls draw from Youngkin’s textbook on education

In the 2nd District race, State Sen. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is widely seen as the leading candidate to take on Luria. Kiggans, a geriatric nurse practitioner and former Navy helicopter pilot, has stepped up her fundraising campaign, raising more than $400,000 in the past quarter and surpassing $1 million in total. She has $592,000 on hand – but has to deal with Luria’s $3.1 million war chest.

Eleven Republicans, meanwhile, are seeking GOP nomination in Virginia’s 10th District, the bluest of the three Republicans hoping to swing.

Prince William County Council Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (right) raised just over $308,000 in the last quarter and has $545,000 on her hands, more than double her closest competitors. But Hung Cao, a retired navy captain who came to the United States after his family fled Vietnam before the fall of Saigon, edged out Lawson with $314,000 this quarter, with $223,000 in hand. This fundraising performance, Roday said, could give the lesser-known Cao some momentum.

Brandon Michon, a Loudoun County parent whose last impassioned speech to the school board about school closings led to appearances on Fox News, has raised around $235,000 this quarter and has $205,000 on hand.

Another 10th District candidate, Mike Clancy, has $286,000 in hand. Nearly $100,000, however, came from a personal loan.

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