Manassas Journal Messenger | Incumbents dominate spending in Senate race

Both of Prince William’s Democratic senators were sitting on hefty bank accounts coming into October, but Republicans showed signs in the latest finance reports they will hit one hard down the stretch.

In the 36th Senate race, Democrat Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller, is well financed, but Republicans see the first-term incumbent as vulnerable after redistricting two years ago.

Rep. Tom Davis, R-11th District, sent her challenger $25,000 in September and will be holding a fund-raiser for him Oct. 25.

With that money, Republican challenger Christian Braunlich, a member of the Fairfax County School Board, managed to raise $48,000 in September while spending $26,000.

Puller spent $70,000 in September, the most of any local candidate, and she still finished the month with $129,000 in cash on hand. She raised $58,000 in September, $30,000 from a fund-raiser with former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerry.

Braunlich ended September with $28,000, with $13,000 in debts to be paid. The latest reports are for September.

“The polling is fast and furious right now,” said Puller, who was going to two events Thursday night including Democrat Rep. Jim Moran’s annual 8th District fund-raiser in Alexandria where presidential candidate Howard Dean and Gov. Mark R. Warner were expected.

Braunlich acknowledges he has been outraised three to one. It may not be the $75,000 Puller raised in her kickoff fund-raiser with Warner, but Braunlich said he raised $15,000 at a Sept. 7 fund-raiser with Sen. George Allen, R-Va.

“Everyone’s trying to figure out where it is, I still think it’s a dead heat,” Braunlich said.

In the 29th Senate race, 28-year incumbent Sen. Charles J. Colgan was in command. He spent $10,000 to put on a fund-raising golf tournament, nearly as much as his opponent raised.

Republican Dave Mabie, who is clerk of the Circuit Court, raised $12,300 and had $16,200 in the bank to Colgan’s total of nearly $100,000. Colgan raised $41,000 and outspent Mabie $34,000 to $7,000.

Sen. Jay O’Brien, R-37th District, raised twice as much as much as his challenger Democrat Greg Galligan but spent half as much. O’Brien raised $22,300, spent $11,400, and ended with $40,000.

Galligan raised $9,800, spent $23,800, and ended with $25,900. Galligan has $36,000 in loans.

Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-31st District, was second to Puller in fund-raising last month with $53,000 raised including $11,700 worth of in-kind contributions. Challenger Democrat David Brickley raised $21,800. The two were nearly even on expenditures: Lingamfelter at $32,800 and Brickley at $35,300. Brickley kicked up his mail campaign, spending $28,300 in printing and postage last month. Brickley has loaned himself $25,500.

In the 52nd House race last month, Republican Jeff Frederick received $35,700 in contributions and Democrat Charlie Taylor received $17,500. Taylor spent $26,000 and ended with $17,600, while Frederick spent $12,700 and ended with $46,200.

Taylor has loaned himself $28,000.

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