New Finance Reports
As I am sure you have already seen elsewhere, the Cash on Hand looks like this:
Walter Stosch - $368,893
Joe Blackburn - $72,040
Stosch looks to be in a pretty good position at this point with a 5-1 cash advantage going into the home stretch. Expect a massive media barrage in the Richmond metro area in the next few weeks, as Stosch has enough money to probably go on TV and radio a decent amount while Blackburn will probably have to stick to mail and maybe a little radio. I would think Stosch is still the favorite here, but Blackburn seems to be getting good traction.
Brandon Bell - $104,029
Ralph Smith - $34,836
An interesting report from Smith here. 37k of his 49k raised is from either himself or his mayoral campaign account. On the Bell side, he received a 25k contribution from the Jimmy Hazel backed Leadership for Va PAC. Neither side has really done too much yet; but Bell does have almost a 3-1 advantage here to do plenty of mailers with. Smith will need more money to win, but the big question now is how much more cash is Smith willing to drop into his own campaign? Conversely, how much will Hazel give to counter Smith?
Emmett Hanger - $117,563
Scott Sayre - $32,772
This race creates a major conundrum. Hanger has a 3-1 advantage which should prove helpful, but has spent nothing. Sayre can spend most all his money on mailers and other voter outreach while Hanger will have to spend at least some of his cash on buying signs, stickers and the like. Like Bell, Hanger also received a 25k contribution from Leadership for Va. Here again is a question of how much Mr. Hazel wants to see Sen. Hanger return to Richmond. Also, will Sayre contribute a larger amount in the following few weeks to balance it out? I still think Sayre needs more to win, but I don't know what the magic number would be.
One other major thing to keep in mind here are the ancillary accounts. The Senate Leadership Trust and other related accounts are flush with cash, while the VCAP and VCSS will doubtfully be able to deliver equivalent funding for their candidates. One thing that may aid the challengers is the entrance of primaries against Marty Williams and Fred Quayle that could spread incumbent funds a little thinner, but not a tremedous amount. It still looks like the incumbents are still in a pretty good position.
Jill Holtzman-Vogel - $169,724
Mark Tate - $156,099
Of the open seat races, the 27th leads all battles where around half a million has already been spent and another 300k+ is still in the bank of Holtzman-Vogel and Tate. Could a million be spent even before the general election gets underway? Jill still seems to be the favorite here, but I am not sure how you could accurately be able to tell.
In the 28th, a few faces have joined the race to replace Sen. Chichester. While John Van Hoy has been running for several weeks now, Joe Graziano and Jonathon Myers have entered the race as well. The reports are pretty useless here, as no one has much money. Van Hoy still seems to be the favorite here.
John Andrews - $232,875
Patricia Philips - $13,213
Last but not least is the battle to take on Sen. Mark Herring. Developer John Andrews has a massive financial advantage over his opponent Patricia Philips (250k of his 350k raised came from himself and family); but she seems to have more of the "grassroots". Also, this race is tough to know much about right now until the problems with the LCRC get straightened out, including their calls. Furthermore, Andrews is hindered by being a developer in an increasingly anti-developer area. At this point, I would favor Philips for the nomination and Herring still as a strong favorite for the general election.
I will try and keep everyone up to date with developments in these races.