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Couric predicted to continue fundraising lead

Incumbent state Sen. Emily Couric, D-Charlottesville, is likely to show a large advantage in campaign fundraising over challenger Jane Maddux (R) by September.

Financial reports will be released to the public Sept. 15.

Maddux, an Albemarle County resident and business owner, is challenging Couric in the November election for the Charlottesville seat in the General Assembly.

Maddux said despite the fundraising imbalance, she will have sufficient funds to run an effective campaign.

"We're going to have plenty of money to run against their campaign," she said.

Campaign candidacy reports to be filed with the State Board of Elections this month will show the amounts raised by the candidates for their campaigns.

The last reports, for the period ending June 30, showed Couric had raised $235,945 and Maddux had raised $67,359.

Couric was elected to the Senate in 1995, with her 1995 campaign focusing on education.

"That's my number one issue," Couric said.

"I have a very strong record in public education, I am an advocate for affordable access to quality health care and for protecting our quality of life in Virginia. Those are the three issues for which I am well known," she said.

Maddux launched her fundraising drive in February and has made building stronger families the focal point of her 1999 campaign.

"I want to concentrate on making families as strong as they can be by making education stronger, cutting taxes so families have more money to spend as they see fit and keeping quality health care affordable and accessible," Maddux said.

She said the difference between her and her opponent is ideological.

"It's big government versus less government. [Couric] supports the Democratic philosophy," she added.

Larry J. Sabato, government and foreign affairs professor, said Couric likely will win the race.

"Emily Couric is a substantial favorite," Sabato said.

"One, she's a Democrat in a basically Democratic district. Second, these are good times and most incumbents are automatic favorites," he said.

A third reason for Couric's advantage over Maddux was her larger campaign funding resources and expenditures, Sabato noted.

He said that money is only one element in politics and campaigns.

"My guess is she could win even if she were outspent" by Maddux, he added.

Charlottesville Republican Party Chairman Dale McGlothlin said Couric has a "massive lead" in fundraising, but added that the candidates' policy ideas will matter more.

"I don't think the race is about money, I think it's about ideas," McGlothlin said.

He said beating Couric will be a challenge.

"Defeating an incumbent is a difficult task and Emily Couric happens to be a popular incumbent," he added.

But McGlothlin said he is optimistic about the appeal of Maddux's campaign.

"Jane has a more well-rounded campaign initiative," he said.

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