Campaign finance numbers show a competitive Democratic primary

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:41 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - We’re a few months out from the June primary, but candidates are already in fundraising mode.

“It’s a long time until the primary, and other actors will be coming into play; individuals, PACs, groups of various sorts,” UVA Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato said Thursday, January 19.

The first campaign finance reports of the year are out. Sabato says it isn’t always about how much candidates raise, but what they do with it.

“You don’t need to outspend your opponent to win, you need to spend enough to get your message across,” he said.

Kellen Squire and Amy Laufer are facing off for the Democratic nominee for the 55th District in the House.

“This is likely to be one of if not the most competitive race in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, as far as I know,” Squire said.

Fundraising efforts reflect that competitiveness: In the second half of 2022, Squire raised around $63,000.

“We knew that we’d have to really engage in grassroots effort to build the support we’re going to need to win,” Squire said.

Laufer got nearly $60,000 from July to the end of December.

“Ninety-five percent of my donations are actually local, and I think this shows the excitement and support of my candidacy.,” Laufer said.

Another tight Democratic race is for the Senate’s new 11th District. Delegate Sally Hudson is running against Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds.

“I announced my campaign near the end of November, and so those reports cover the last six months,” Hudson said. “But, I’ve only been running for a little more than six weeks.”

For the second half of 2022, Deeds outraised Hudson. Both candidates emphasize their reliance on grassroots heading into June.

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