It took a month, but the victory of Republican Karen Greenhalgh in her race for the Virginia House of Delegates has officially been confirmed. Greenhalgh defeated incumbent Democrat Alex Askew by 115 votes. Askew gained only 12 votes in the recount process.
Greenhalgh’s victory gives the GOP control of 51 of the 100 seats in the House. Believe it or not, one race is still in doubt. In that one, the Republican leads the Democrat by 94 votes. But whatever the final outcome, Republicans will have a majority in the House. However, Democrats control the state Senate, 21-19.
In other elections news from the Commonwealth, the final spending numbers for the gubernatorial race are in. According to the Washington Post, both candidates, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, raised right around $68 million. McAuliffe ended up with just under $100,000 in the bank. Youngkin ended up with around $3 million.
In the last Virginia gubernatorial race, the Democrat and the Republican spent a combined $66 million. So this race cost more than twice as much as the previous one.
Although McAuliffe and Youngkin raised just about the same amount of money, there was a difference. Youngkin raised his $68 million with the help of a $20 million “loan” from his private fortune. McAuliffe apparently didn’t dip into his personal funds, and certainly not to the extent his opponent did.
Fortunately for Youngkin, he was able to raise around $10 million in the final weeks of the campaign without resorting to his own money. McAuliffe raised around $11.5 million during the same period.
Thanks to this money, both candidates were able to bombard the airwaves with ads during the home stretch. This explains why my wife asked me several times when the campaign would finally be over.
My question is whether Youngkin would have won the race if he hadn’t had been able to match McAuliffe financially by lending millions and millions of dollars to his campaign.
Other things being equal, it helps to nominate rich candidates.