It seems we have a competitive campaign on our hands in the 12th Senate district to replace Senator Walter Stosch, with Vince Haley apparently having the edge according to a recent straw poll.[read_more]
All candidates have turned in strong fundraising numbers, especially given the fact that it is a four-way race. Dunnavant is probably the most surprising with her numbers since she entered the race so late.
The Richmond Times Dispatch reported:
In the 12th District, four candidates are seeking the Republican nomination to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico. There is no Democratic candidate.
Former Del. Bill Janis reported raising $123,305 and had $107,584 in cash on hand at the end of March.
Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant reported raising $101,594 and that she had $94,100 in cash on hand as of March 31.
Lawyer Vincent Haley, a Newt Gingrich operative, reported raising $80,736 in contributions, but more than $50,000 in expenditures. He ended the period with $24,264 in cash on hand.
Longtime GOP activist and lawyer Eddie Whitlock reported $41,105 in contributions, $13,381 in expenses and a resulting balance of $27,723.
All these candidates are doing their due diligence to reach out to the grassroots and key activists. None seem to be taking anything for granted. However, in a Henrico straw poll this week at a Henrico candidate forum, Vince Haley won convincingly (raw vote tally below):
- Vince Haley – 43
- Bill Janis – 21
- Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant – 13
- Eddie Whitlock – 3
- “I vote for them all” – 1
I know or have met all these candidates. They all have something to offer Virginia and their local constituency, but Vince seems to have the early lead. He also enjoys the support of the many fantastic grassroots supporters who helped get Dave Brat elected. In fact, Vince Haley even has hired Dave Brat’s campaign manager! Haley certainly seems to have the current momentum.
It will be interesting to see if the retiring state senator, Walter Stosch, chooses to endorse one of these candidates or decides to sit on the sidelines. Stosch has a very moderate Republican voting record, so it could potentially hurt the candidate in a primary. I guess we shall see…