Democratic candidate for the Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District Leslie Cockburn has raised over $1 million for her campaign since she declared her candidacy last July, according to federal campaign finance filed this week. Her Republican opponent, veteran and businessman Denver Riggleman, over $200,000 — though he only was nominated in a party convention early last month.
Even adjusting for Riggleman’s late nomination, Cockburn — who raised $295,000 between June 4 and June 30 — has a slight fundraising edge, though Sabato’s Crystal Ball Associate Editor Geoffrey Skelley says it may not make a significant difference.
“Leslie Cockburn had a good fundraising quarter and is in a position to make VA-05 quite competitive despite its Republican lean,” Skelley said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “However, the good news for the GOP is that Denver Riggleman put together a solid one month of fundraising. If he can keep that up going forward, he will avoid facing much of a resource deficit in the contest. VA-05 remains a Leans Republican race.”
Election analysts frequently look to campaign finance reports to predict election results. Before incumbent Republican in May, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report against a then-unnamed Democratic challenger was only “lean” Republican, in part because Garrett had just $142,000 in campaign cash on hand.
On the reporting deadline of June 30, Riggleman had nearly $208,000 on hand, while Cockburn had over twice that — approximately $482,000.
While only 6 percent of Cockburn’s receipts were composed of political action committees in the last reporting period — April 1 through June 30 — over 25 percent of Riggleman’s contributions were given by PACs.
Riggleman’s largest non-individual donors include the House Freedom Fund — a PAC supporting potential members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus — Koch Industries’ PAC and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Action PAC. For Cockburn, who pledged to reject all corporate PAC money, her campaign’s non-individual donors include the Congressional Progressive Caucus and EMILY’s List, a group dedicated to helping women run for office.