More great fundraising news for GOP candidates, this time from Ed Gillespie, whose campaign today announced a total haul so far of $4.1 million, with 3,300 new donors in the second quarter providing $1.9 million toward the total. Gillespie has preserved $3.1 million cash on hand. More good news on top of that: a fair number of former Mark Warner donors have made the move to Ed’s campaign, too.
Gillespie is in an interesting position with respect to fundraising. He is a prolific fundraiser, with a wide network of donor contacts in Virginia and nationally. He’ll be able to raise significantly more than this in the final quarter of the race, but in the end he will never raise more than Mark Warner. That’s because Mark Warner is the second wealthiest member of Congress, and will simply cut a check from his vast millions of personal wealth to ensure he retains a large advantage over Gillespie.
Hence, the key for Gillespie is not to attain any sort of fleeting lead over Warner in fundraising, but to raise enough to ensure his message gets delivered between now and November, and not washed out by Warner’s endless millions. He continues to score well on his front.
Expect the air war to start soon, as Warner is not likely to greet Gillespie’s success quietly. The Democrat playbook of the last several cycles suggests that Warner will now turn to character assassination in the form of a multi-million dollar television ad campaign. The trouble for Warner is that no amount of television smears against Gillespie is going to be able to whitewash his record in Washington. But it should be fun to watch.
Full text of the Gillespie press release is below:
Ed Gillespie for Senate Campaign Raises $1.9 Million in Second Quarter
Year-to-Date, Gillespie Campaign Raises $4.1 Million
Including Donations from 47 Donors who had Previously Given to Mark Warner
LORTON – The Ed Gillespie for Senate Campaign announced today that it raised $1.9 million in the second quarter, bringing its fundraising in the first two quarters to $4.1 million. The campaign reported $3.1 million cash on hand at the end of the second quarter. The campaign brought in 3,305 new donors in the second quarter. Gillespie received contributions from 47 donors who had previously given to Mark Warner. In the first two quarters, 3,293 of the campaign’s donors were from Virginia, including donors from 123 of Virginia’s 133 Counties & Independent Cities.
Speaking about the announcement, campaign manager Chris Leavitt said, “The Gillespie campaign continues to build momentum as more and more voters compare Mark Warner’s record of voting 97 percent of the time with President Obama and Ed Gillespie’s agenda for economic growth. The $4.1 million raised by the campaign to-date puts the campaign among the top non-incumbent Republican campaigns, and positions it well to get Ed’s positive message out to voters.”
Leavitt continued, “After a unifying convention June 7 in Roanoke, Republicans have coalesced around Ed Gillespie and are sharing his Economic Growth Agenda in every community. In just the last week, Ed has participated in the Filipino-American Friendship Day, knocked doors in Virginia Beach, met with veterans in Yorktown, participated in an interfaith Iftar in Alexandria and met with coal miners in Dickenson County.”
“We got news that the GDP contracted 2.9 percent in the first quarter, but Virginians already knew that the policies of Mark Warner and President Obama aren’t helping them. They’re facing the lowest labor force participation rate in decades, gas prices that have nearly doubled since Mark Warner took office, fewer hours at work because of Obamacare, skyrocketing health care costs and an Administration that is trying to double-down on policies that make these problems worse.”
“Mark Warner hasn’t been the Senator for Virginia he said he would be, which is one reason 47 donors who had previously given to him are now supporting Ed Gillespie. They know we need a check on President Obama, not the blank check that Mark Warner has been.”