Vangie Williams

Vangie Williams

Williams

Democrat Vangie Williams of King George County slightly out-raised her opponent, Republican incumbent Rob Wittman over the past three months, though she remains a significant underdog in the 1st District Congressional race.

Williams raised $256,020 from July through September, with the vast majority of those donations coming from individuals, according to the Federal Election Commission. Wittman took in $238,152 over the same time period, with a little more than half coming from political action committees and the rest from individuals.

But Wittman, who took office in 2008, has a total of $960,527 in the bank ahead of the Nov. 6 election, compared with Williams’ balance of $89,258. Wittman has raised $1.4 million since 2017, compared with Williams’ total haul of $353,858.

“Those kinds of disparities can make a big difference when it comes to campaign advertising in the final weeks, particularly in a district as sprawling as the 1st District is,” University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said. “Wittman is far better poised in the homestretch.”

The 1st District covers a large geographic area that includes Fredericksburg, Stafford County, part of Prince William County, Caroline County, the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and communities in the Hampton Roads area, including Williamsburg, Hampton and Newport News.

The Williams campaign said in a statement that the Democrat out-raised Wittman in the third quarter “without the help of big business,” alluding to the many corporate political action committees that have donated to Wittman’s campaign.

“Our most recent fundraising total is a direct result of people because we are a true grassroots funded campaign,” the statement read. “Vangie has stayed true to her word and not accepted donations from a corporate PAC. This shows the power every person has in this campaign and how we can bring democracy back to the people—not special interests.”

Wittman said in a statement that, if re-elected, he will continue fighting for veterans’ benefits, more accountability in Washington and increased access to high-speed internet.

“I am so grateful to all who have contributed to my campaign to again represent the 1st District in Congress,” he stated. “We have a great team on the ground and a great plan we are executing to assure we are victorious.”

UMW will host a debate between Wittman and Williams at 7 p.m. Monday at Dodd Auditorium. Admission is free.

Other Democratic House candidates also out-raised their GOP opponents in the third quarter as they hope to a ride a “blue wave” to victory in a repudiation of Republican President Donald Trump’s policies.

In the competitive 7th District race, Democrat Abigail Spanberger collected $3.6 million from July through September, the most of any Virginia House candidate and more than triple the amount raised by her opponent, GOP Rep. Dave Brat.

Spanberger has collected a total of $4.9 million, while Brat has raised about $2.4 million since 2017. The 7th District includes Culpeper and Orange counties and most of Spotsylvania County.

In Northern Virginia, Democrat Jennifer Wexton more than doubled Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock’s third-quarter total. Wexton raised $2.6 million to Comstock’s $1.3 million in the closely watched 10th District race. Comstock has raised a total of $5.1 million for her re-election bid, nearly $600,000 more than her opponent.

Democratic Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a heavy favorite, took in $2.4 million from July through September. His opponent, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, raised $1 million.

Kaine has raised about $20 million overall for his re-election bid, a tenfold advantage over Stewart’s $2 million.

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Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402

jbranscome@freelancestar.com

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