Just two PACs made up the bulk of Mary Margaret Kastelberg’s and GayDonna Vandergriff’s September fundraising
RICHMOND, VA – In the September fundraising filings that became public this week, House Republican candidates Mary Margaret Kastelberg and GayDonna Vandergriff reported raising the vast majority of their money from just two GOP PACs. Kastelberg and Vandergriff are challenging Democratic nominee Rodney Willett in HD-73 and Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg in HD-72, respectively.
Kastelberg’s average donation in September was astronomically high, at $4,608.23–more than fourteen times Rodney Willett’s average donation. She took $150k from Republican Speaker Kirk Cox’s PAC, Colonial Leadership Trust, and $125k from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group that works to elect Republicans to state legislatures. The two donations combined amount to a staggering 89 percent of Kastelberg’s September fundraising. Willett took in fifteen times as many grassroots donations of $100 or less as Kastelberg.
In HD-72, Cox’s PAC and the RSLC contributed to 68 percent of Vandergriff’s total September fundraising, with $80k each. Vandergriff’s average donation was $3,636.29, more than thirteen times Delegate VanValkenburg’s average donation. Delegate VanValkenburg holds a significant cash-on-hand advantage over Vandergriff and took in more than five times as many grassroots donations as Vandergriff.
“When candidates have virtually no support other than partisan PACs–and just two PACs at that–it’s a sign that they have no momentum on their side,” said House Democratic Caucus executive director Trevor Southerland. “If a candidate can’t get folks to invest in them via grassroots donations, it’s going to be tough for them to convince voters to elect them to represent the community’s interests in the House of Delegates. It’s pretty clear from these reports that Delegate VanValkenburg and Rodney Willett have a much broader base of support.”