Gillespie Posts Stunning $2.2 Million Fundraising Numbers

Ed Gillespie raises more money than any non-incumbent GOP Senate candidate NATIONWIDE

GOP Senate Candidate Ed Gillespie

GOP Senate Candidate Ed Gillespie

Are you one of those folks who think Mark Warner is essentially unbeatable? Have you thought that no one would be able to draw the funding necessary to undertake what donors might think is an uphill climb for any of our candidates? Think again.

In the first required fundraising report to the FEC, Ed Gillespie’s campaign reveals they have raised over $2.2 million in the last quarter, besting not only his GOP rivals, but also every other Republican challenger or open seat candidate anywhere in the country. Gillespie did this essentially in only a partial quarter, not having had his first fundraiser event until February. Compare that to the INCUMBENT, Mark Warner, whose fundraising totaled just $2.7 million in a full quarter. It’s clear that big and small donors alike in Virginia understand that Mark Warner actually is vulnerable this year, and have whipped out their checkbooks to make it happen.

When people write a check to a campaign, each one of them makes some sort of how likely their donation is to make a difference, balancing risk against potential reward (i.e., whether the money will be wasted on a losing candidate, balanced against the potential for the candidate in question to carry forward with the donor’s own agenda). In Gillespie’s case, the smart money has landed on him as (a) being capable of winning; and (b) being likely to contribute to the rollback of Obama/Warner policies ranging from Obamacare (aka Warnercare) to carbon taxes to a feckless foreign policy. In other words, these folks clearly see Gillespie as a good investment.

Friends, momentum is on our side, and Ed Gillespie is proving it. Every day that goes by with continued and increasing frustration with Warnercare is a day that Mark Warner becomes that much more beatable. Business owners understand what a disaster the law is for them, and how it will only get worse when it is finally fully implemented. Donors know this, too. That’s why Obama keeps delaying coverage mandates until after each successive election.

Gillespie’s chief opponent for the GOP nomination, to be decided at the party’s convention June 7 in Roanoke, is Shak Hill. Hill’s fundraising report is not yet available (we will updated when it is). Clearly, though, the eye-popping numbers Gillespie has posted do tend to undermine Hill’s argument that he is the more electable candidate. But that doesn’t necessarily equate into automatic victory for Gillespie. Hill still has a real chance to win the nomination.

Regardless of how much General Election muscle Hill shows in his fundraising totals, it doesn’t take much to run a credible convention campaign. Hill is still a serious contender, owing largely to dissatisfaction with the so-called “establishment” among large swaths of the GOP base, and will be able to go toe-to-toe with Gillespie until June in the sort of low-cost direct contacts with potential delegates that these types of campaigns require. Million dollar ad buys won’t necessarily change the outcome of a convention. So, Gillespie is not out of the woods yet, and still needs to make sure he gets thousands of his supporters to Roanoke for the big vote. But now he’s got 2.2 million more reasons to argue to those delegates that the best investment they can make with their votes is to nominate him.

And Mark Warner? Might be time to start considering retirement options.

About Steve Albertson


Steve is a lucky husband and proud father residing in Stafford, Virginia. A longtime Republican activist, he has served on the Republican Party of Virginia's State Central Committee since 2012. The opinions expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Virginia GOP.

  • steve in va

    Please….this guy is a big government, open borders type…..RINO!

  • Alexis Rose Bank

    No data in opensecrets yet – where’s his money coming from?

    • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

      The press release says 1,700 individual donors, with 60% from Virginia. Other stats from the press release:
      • 3 out of 5 individual donors are from Virginia.
      • The median donation amount was $500.
      • There were 827 donations of $100 or less totaling nearly $40,000.
      • Donors reside in 89 of Virginia’s 133 counties and independent cities.

      That’s all I’ve got at the moment.

      • Alexis Rose Bank

        My “Wall Street money” whisker is twitching…

  • jamieradtke

    I’m not sure the numbers are that surprising when you are in partnership with Karl Rove and you have long-standing relationships (decades worth) in national Republican political circles. His ability to raise substantial money to be competitive with Warner was his key winning argument to persuade many conservatives to support him, so they will be confirmed in their choice. My guess is that the big money mostly comes from the other 40% raised outside of VA. There is only a finite amount of big money in VA. It will be interesting to see the names of the donors.

  • Kate Gaziano

    How about an article about VA10 fundraising numbers, Steve? :)

    • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

      Planning on it…gotta pay the bills, first, though! :-) Hope to get there tonight or in the morning when we’ve got better numbers from everyone.

  • chris

    I know some people want to poke holes in this but $2.2 million is still $2.2 million. That number, no matter where it comes from, cannot be ignored. And frankly, I don’t really want to hear tea party groups complaining about Ed raising money out of state when entire primary campaigns by grassroots conservatives are funded by out-of-state and DC-based PACs and organizations.

    • Marta

      yes, when 60% of that came from Virginia, that’s $1.3 million, quite impressive!

  • Eric McGrane

    Money is simply the fuel of a campaign. I’ve never been a fan of the argument that a candidate is “best” because they have lots of fuel. Yes, this number is impressive, but values and positions impress me more.

  • Meg Jaworowski

    Mr. Gillespie proves by these excellent numbers, that he is indeed, a highly skilled fundraiser! He has done this successfully for others and now successfully is doing it for himself.

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