97th District Update
In the previous filing John Montgomery (D) led Chris Peace (R) in fundraising $112k to $28k which each having $13-14k on hand. In the past 4 days, Montgomery has received $93,666 in donations. His largest donations in that group is a $26,666 donation from the Dem House Caucus, $20k from Kaine and another 20k from Mark Warner's PAC.
Chris Peace has received $96,775 in the same 4 day span. His largest donor is $40k from Speaker Howell's Dominion Leadership Trust and a $10k loan from himself.
As I have said before, this is a fairly highly GOP district. It was a 57% district for Kilgore so it is a much stronger GOP seat than the other 2 special House elections (the 3rd was a 53-47 Kilgore seat and the 23rd was a 52-48 Kaine seat). Also, this area showcases some of the strongest grassroots GOP units in the state. That being said, Montgomery came very close to beating McDougle in '01 and has a massive fund advantage right now. That coupled with our through whippings in the previous 2 races leaves more than uneasiness for us GOPs in this race. Also, Peace being a lobbyist couldn't come at worse time either.
I am confident that we can win this race and I think Chris Peace is a good candidate. One other thing that gives me comfort is that Matt Wells is running the campaign. He is well-qualified, knows the area well, and is a great person for the job. Even so, there is a decidedly democratic "wave" right now. Lets hope we break that and win this race, along with the 33rd Senate race. Everyone should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.