Saturday, October 20, 2007

Democrats fund local races in push for takeover

This article from the Virginian Pilot ( notes the change in the financial winds for the Democrats in Tidewater Virginia. Needless to say, it would be wonderful to have the Democrats retake control of the Virginia General Assembly. The GOP was the minority party for literally a century in Virginia, and during the period the GOP has been in charge, there has been a decided upswing in the influence of the Christianists in state legislation. With growing Democrat support in Northern Virginia, this surprising show in this area is encouraging. A loss of GOP control is the only hope for seeing more progressive legislation. I pray that the renewed strength of the Democrats continues:
Flush with unprecedented amounts of cash, Democrats are funneling money into General Assembly races in Hampton Roads and across the state in hopes of retaking control of the Senate and House. Republican candidates still maintain their traditional edge in fund raising – they have taken in $21.9 million compared with nearly $20 million for Democrats.

But as of Sept. 30, the state Democratic Party and its political action committees had raised nearly twice as much as the Republicans, $11 million to the GOP’s $5.9 million, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a Richmond-based group that tracks campaign fundraising and spending. That’s leading Democrats to predict they will claim the four seats needed to gain control of the Senate. The House, where the GOP holds a 57-40 advantage, with three independents, will be a tougher hill to climb.
Having so much money gives Democrats flexibility to put resources where they need them, said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a University of Mary Washington political science professor . The issue isn’t the statewide totals, it’s what’s being spent on key Senate races – and in many of those, Democrats have the edge, he said. Of the five most competitive local races, Democrats have cash advantages in three.

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