Happy Hour Advertising | Ralph Northam Speaks

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) speaks in Herndon on June 25.

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.

“We’re thrilled where we are,” he said.

Northam faced intense pressure to quit in February after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. He denied being in the picture but admitted to wearing blackface as a young man. Most Democrats initially called on Northam to resign, but many have since resumed working with him. He’s attended fundraisers with Democratic lawmakers and his PAC has poured thousands into key races.

Business interests heavily affected by government spending and regulations were among Northam’s biggest recent donors, including highway construction companies, gambling interests and auto dealers. He also reported spending $150,000 at the law firm that’s been helping him navigate the blackface scandal.

Northam wasn’t the only top Democrat to face calls for his resignation in February. Two women have publicly accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, which he denies. And Attorney General Mark Herring acknowledged wearing blackface a few days after calling for Northam to resign over similar past behavior. They both posted fundraising totals Monday similar to what they’ve traditionally raised before February.

But several individual Democratic candidates, including challengers seeking to knock off GOP incumbents, reported strong fundraising totals. Seven of the top 10 fundraisers among state Senate candidates were Democrats in the last reporting period.

Virginia Democrats have scored big wins in the last two election cycles thanks to suburban voters unhappy with President Donald Trump.

“We have the momentum, the message, the resources and we are on the right side of history. November is coming,” Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman Jake Rubenstein said.

But Republicans, who have been in the majority for several years, enjoy huge cash reserves they’ve built up over several election cycles.

“It’s no secret that Democrats are going to be well funded by millionaires and outside groups,” said Parker Slaybaugh, spokesman for GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox. “Despite that, we’re still happy to hold a more than $1 million cash on hand advantage.”

(29) comments

Loudoun4Trump

amerigirl we know it is him because he said it was, then changed his mind once he got together with leftist media that would cover for him. his yearbook page -- he provided the photos for them to be published on his yearbook page....koonman was also I the yearbook...the man also said this was common in VA where he grew up...I grew up in VA and been around a long time, longer than Northam and I never saw a klansman….the governors own words prove his racist past....the good Dr. isn't so good after all....

amerigirl

Always a conspiracy, huh? You assume he provided the photos, you know what they say about assuming. I bet you have seen a KKK member, it's not like they wear their sheets in public, well except at their recruitment rally 2 weeks ago in Hanover. They were just around handing out fliers here a couple of months ago. You could be working with one and never know it. How do his words "This was not me in that picture. That was not Ralph Northam." prove him guilty? You can say he changed his mind to make it look bad and fit your agenda, other will say he corrected himself.

amerigirl

Romano, he said it wasn't him and paid to have a company find out who it was, sounds like an innocent man.

Chris McHale

He said it wasn't him only after someone with a brain told him it was political suicide to admit it.

amerigirl

You're assuming alot. He said it was because he didn't remember that happening and that it didn't look like him.

LetsBreal

“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now." - Ralph Northam, February 1, 2019

ace10

Defending the indefensible.

amerigirl

If he is guilty then he deserves what he gets. If he is innocent then all this nonsense from people lying has done nothing but tarnish his reputation. I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. Funny how none of you republican right wingers ever say a word about how racist trump is, just Northam.

Loudoun4Trump

You gotta be kidding me amerigirl….proof? How about the picture of him as exhibit one...only a racist would either dress up as a klansman or sit next to one...to mimick Michael Jackson's moonwalk he didn't need to put shoe polish on his face....students referred to him as Koonman….a derogatory term....now please tell me just one thing that Trump has done for the leftist to call him and all his supporters racists? Please, the hypocricy by the former slaveholding democrats is incredible....

amerigirl

And you know that's him how? Are you a psychic? The only people who referred to him that way were some upper class men and he doesn't know why. His actual classmates didn't use the term. There are many things that trump and his chanting crowd have done to be called racist. "Send them back" "good on both sides" comments to disqualify a judge “He’s a Mexican,”., "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapist" , the Muslim ban, sued twice because he didn't want blacks in his buildings, removing blacks from the floor of his casinos when he visited, birtherism, central park five, after a BLM protester was beaten he said “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up, It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”, When a homeless Latino man was beaten by 2 men because they thought Trump was right about deportation, he didn't condemn them he said “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate,” Trump said. “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” Who says things like “look at my African American over here.” My??? is that ownership? He told award-winning Hispanic journalist Jorge Ramos "Get out of my country". There are plenty more would you like them also?

LetFreedomRing

Why do Democrats still support Racist Ralph? I thought they were against racism. Everyone who is not a democrat is labeled “racist” and must be censored and destroyed but democrats who actually are racist are given a free pass. Hypocrisy at its finest. Keep up the noble work Dems!

amerigirl

Why do republicans still support a proven racist like trump?

amerigirl

If you think Northam should go for being a racist then what about trump? He is racist against Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and bias toward women.

LoudounSucks

It doesn't matter if the boot on your neck is red or blue. Stop playing up the false dichotomy for advertising dollars, LTM.

marv

It is tragic that so many VA Democratic politicians from the top down are Bloomberg puppets.that owe their elections to him for his millions in contributions. Should our Governor ever be as confused about medicine as he is about firearms 95% of his patients would expire.

Loudoun4Trump

The klansman needs to step down for democrats to have any credibility on race relations....I'm surprised he found a few suckers to give him 300k, and that probably included the money Chairperson Randall returned to him -- like any other decent person would....Northum continues to embarrass Virginians, I wish he would resign, but he is too arrogant....Duncan, don't let the door hit you on the way out of the GOP....no one will miss you.......

BobP

Why do democrats continue to support racist trash like this? Stop being hypocrites.

amerigirl

Why do republicans keep calling him racist without proof? If you read the article, then explain how it is hypocritical if he is not t getting the support because people have doubts? It's like the republicans have discovered a new word "hypocrites" and use it in every situation.

romano

Amerigirl seems to have forgotten that he apologized for it...not the act of an innocent man

LoudounClear

When Trump supporters get into full-on mode, I have to wonder is it the opioids? Tattoo ink poisoning? Maybe they're wearing their MAGA hats too tight? Something must explain their shouting such nonsense...

amerigirl

Maybe it's being part of the flock, following the leader like good sheep.

ace10

#NotMyGovernor

amerigirl

along with #notmypresident

Duncan Idaho

It doesn't matter, the House and Senate are going to flip anyway. Trump's damage to the GOP will be profound and long-lasting and will filter into the state legislatures.

loudoun fan

That sure seems like an accurate prediction.

RoundHillGuy

Righteous Blue wave right? Just like when the Senate was lost by the republicans last election?

Duncan Idaho

The Senate was never in reach for the Democrats in 2018, unlike in 2020, when Republicans have more seats to defend. Also, did you notice the House flipped? Funny how Trumpublicans always seem to forget that.

amerigirl

There are 34 seats up in 2020. Dems only need to gain 3 or 4 seats to take control. In 2018 there were 10 republican seats up for re-election, there will be 22 republican seats up in 2020. Much better odds.

countyresident

Flip because...people hate a strong economy, lower unemployment numbers, strengthened defense, etc? Oh boy.

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