In yet another sign incumbent Del. David Ramadan (R-87th) is likely in for a tight reelection bid this November, the 2013 first quarter fundraising figures released this week reveal Ramadan's challenger, Democrat John Bell, not only out-raised the Republican, but also has more cash on hand for the days ahead.
Bell raised approximately $93,000 to Ramadan's $26,000 in January, February and March. In terms of cash on hand, the Democrat is holding nearly $72,000 while the incumbent has $42,000 to spend.
In March it was reported the Virginia House of Delegates 87th District race has the eyes of national Democratic operatives
. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean's political action committee Democracy for America (DFA) has targeted Ramadan's seat for its launch to turn swing districts across the nation in Democrats' favor, known as DFA's Purple to Blue campaign.
The 87th District covers the Dulles and South Riding areas in southern Loudoun, as well as a portion of Prince William County.
"I am honored to have the support of so many so early in this race,” John Bell said in a prepared statement following the financial report. “As I talk to folks throughout the district, it’s clear they are fed up with ideological extremists in Richmond like David Ramadan and Ken Cuccinelli who stand in the way of what's best for Virginians.”
Ramadan responded to Bell's attack by saying he was disappointed his opponent has turned to smear tactics. Ramadan said every piece of legislation he introduced in the General Assembly this year related to business development and jobs, veteran affairs or simply practical problems facing Virginians.
“My record speaks for itself,” Ramadan said Wednesday.
The Republican incumbent said he believes Dean's DFA is heavily influencing the Bell campaign and that, in turn, makes the Democrat's operation more ideological than his.
On the fundraising front, Ramadan said he wasn't concerned. He pointed out that he and the other incumbents spent about half the first quarter in Richmond for the 2013 session, thus not being able to focus heavily on raising campaign dollars.
In 2011, Ramadan defeated Democrat Mike Kondratick by just 51 votes out of more than 10,500 cast.
Another House of Delegates seat from Northern Virginia, the 86th, spanning around the Loudoun-Fairfax county line, has also been zeroed in on by DFA. In that race, veteran Del. Tom Rust (R-86th) too fell short of his challenger's cash intake. Democrat Jennifer Boysko brought in $57,000 to Rust's more than $32,000. Rust still has nearly double the amount of cash on hand than Boysko – $100,000 to $54,000.
And Ramadan and Rust aren't the only incumbents representing a portion of Loudoun facing a well-organized, well-financed opponent. Del. Barbara Comstock's (R-34th) foe Kathleen Murphy raised $127,000 and has $105,000 cash on hand while Comstock raised $104,000 and is holding $182,311. Roughly 30 percent of the 34th District falls in eastern Loudoun County.
Incumbent Del. Randy Minchew (R-10th), of Leesburg, was also bested in the first quarter by his challenger, Monte Johnson, but Minchew overall has $147,500 cash on hand to Johnson's $29,500. Johnson raised nearly $40,000 to Minchew's more than $18,000 in 2013.
Twenty-year veteran Del. Joe May (R-33rd) is the lone Republican seeing a primary challenge in 2013. May's fundraising figures dwarfed those of his challenger, David LaRock of Hamilton. May raised nearly $118,000 and has $149,000 on hand while LaRock raked in $21,461 and has more than $4,000 on hand.
All fundraising figures are according to the Virginia Public Access Project.