By Alan Suderman
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is struggling to raise big money in a key election year after a blackface scandal nearly ended his political career. But he’s also managed to remain a major source of campaign cash for Democrats, including those who have previously called on him to resign.
New campaign finance reports filed Monday show the Democratic governor raised slightly more than $300,000 between April and June. That’s far below the seven-figure hauls his predecessors, former Govs. Terry McAuliffe and Bob McDonnell, raised during similar periods when they were in office.
Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms but are typically their party’s biggest fundraisers for off-year legislative elections. All 140 seats in the General Assembly are on the ballot in November, and Virginia is the only state where Democrats have a chance of flipping control of the legislature this year.
“His fundraising is weak, and he’s a drag on Democrats,” Republican Party of Virginia spokesman John March said.
But Northam political action committee director Mark Bergman said the governor’s ability to raise that amount from more than 500 donors only months removed from a major scandal is a sign of resiliency.