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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Endangered Democrats Hold Big Cash Leads in 2nd, 5th and 9th Districts

The money reports are out and the three Democrats facing the toughest challenges, Glenn Nye (D-VA2), Tom Perriello (D-VA5) and Rick Boucher (D-VA9) have huge campaign war chest leads over their challengers. It should be noted that both Republican candidates, Scott Rigell (VA2) and State Senator Robert Hurt (VA5) had to use resources to win primaries in June. Delegate Morgan Griffith, who is challenging Boucher in the 9th had to win a convention nominating contest in May.

Both Nye and Perriello have taken the few opportunities they have had to support gun rights while in their freshman year in congress. Boucher has a long record of supporting gun owner rights and received an unusually early endorsement from the NRA in February. Rigell has no voting record but says he supports the rights of gun owners and sportsmen. Hurt has a great voting record on our issue as both a member of the House of Delegates and the State Senate, earning an "A" rating from the NRA-PVF in the last senate elections. Griffith has an equally long record of supporting gun rights during his time in the House of Delegates and received an "A+" rating in last year's House of Delegates elections.

In the 2nd District, Glenn Nye ended the fund raising quarter with $1.27 million on hand. Rigell ended the quarter with $226,970 on hand. Kenneth Golden, the former Virginia Beach Republican Committee Chairman who is running as an independent, reported having $1,313 as of June 30. Rigell has deep pockets is can be counted on to pump his money into the campaign to catch up to Nye.

In the 5th District, Representative Tom Perriello raised more than $660,000 and had $1.7 million cash on hand as of June 30. Hurt had $212,000 on hand.

In the 9th District House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith out raised Representative Rick Boucher bringing in $259,000 to Boucher’s $248,000 in Virginia's 9th District. Boucher however has a commanding lead in cash on hand with $2 million and went up on TV with his first commercial today. Griffith had $297,228 on hand as of June 30.

CQ Politics lists both the 2nd and 5th districts as toss-ups due to their normally Republican leanings. Perriello won the 5th in 2008 by less than 1/2% while John McCain handily won the district. Nye also won a close race but Obama barely carried the heavily military district. Boucher has held his seat for some 20 years and manages to win big even when his district is voting overwhelmingly for GOP candidates at the top of the ticket mainly because, as Bearing Drift notes, he takes care of his constituents. CQ Politics rates the 9th as Leans Democrat.

Griffith has the highest mountain to scale but even his task is not impossible. Boucher has some explaining to do for his support of Cap and Trade in his coal field district. Cap and Trade will decimate the workers in his district, one that is already the most depressed areas in the Commonwealth.

Incumbency brings money, and the GOP incumbents did as well as their Democrat counterparts. 1st District Representative Rob Wittman reported $519,586 on hand; 4th District Representative Randy Forbes reported $451,410 on hand; and, 7th District Representative Eric Cantor reported having $1.5 million cash on hand as of June 30. All three are good friends of gun owners and and have major party challengers but they are not well funded.

The 1st District challenger, Krystal Marie Ball, reported having $260,735 on hand as of June 30th. She is the only challenger to the incumbent Republicans that has close to six figures on hand.

The next reporting period will be the important test to see if the Republican challengers can cut in to the money leads of their opponents. For gun owners, the Virginia races in the 2nd, 5th, and 9th districts offer an opportunity to look at the total candidate as all (except Rigell) have records of support for our issue.

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