by Brandon Jarvis

The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Eugene Vindman’s campaign last month asking for clarifications on his end-of-year finance report about a large number of unitemized donations.

Vindman is seeking the Democratic nomination in VA-07, an open district after Rep. Abigail Spanberger said she would not be running for reelection and would pursue the Democratic nomination for governor instead.

Federal candidates are required to itemize any donation from an individual for more than $200.

“This letter is prompted by the Commission’s preliminary review of the report referenced above,” the FEC letter reads. “This notice requests information essential to full public disclosure of your federal election campaign finances. Line 11(a)(ii) of the Detailed Summary Page discloses $1,517,444.49 in unitemized receipts from individuals/persons other than political committees during the reporting period. When contributions from an individual reach $200 for an election cycle, each subsequent contribution from that individual must be itemized, regardless of the amount.”

Of the roughly $2 million raised by his campaign, $1.5 million was not itemized. His campaign believes that this letter from the FEC is nothing more than a trigger that happens when they see such large fundraising totals for a campaign.

“Col. Vindman is running on a platform of preserving democracy and the rule of law and his candidacy has received many thousands of donations from Virginians and from those across the country who are passionate about these issues, in amounts that fall below the itemization threshold,” Vindman’s campaign wrote in a response to the FEC. “The Committee has reviewed it’s records in response to your inquiry and is confirming that it properly itemized all contributions from individuals that exceeded the $200 aggregate itemization threshold.” 

Republicans are also calling out Vindman, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, for his out-of-district donations. A very small percentage of his itemized donations came from within VA-07.

“While Virginia families struggle with sky-high inflation, fentanyl overdoses and rising crime, Eugene Vindman is bemoaning presidential politics and cashing checks from coastal elites,” said Delanie Bomar, NRCC spokeswoman. “This paints a clear picture that Vindman isn’t in it for Virginians; he’s in it for himself.”

An analysis of Vindman’s donations shows that he received more from California, New York, and Florida than from Virginia in 2023.

Vindman also faced some backlash when he launched his campaign last year because he was not well known within Democratic circles in VA-07.

“I’m sorry – who is this? I’ve never seen this person in our area. At. All,” tweeted Del. Josh Cole, D-Stafford, a state legislator who represents part of VA-07.

Vindman’s campaign says that the grassroots support his campaign is receiving is a sign that he will have support from Democratic voters in the district.

“Our campaign’s grassroots enthusiasm will be on full display when we file next week with $1.7m raised and just under $2m on hand,” said Jeremy Levinson, Vindman’s campaign manager. “Many thousands across the Commonwealth are excited about Eugene’s message of defending democracy and stopping MAGA extremists from banning books and abortions.”

Del. Brianna Sewell, former Del. Elizabeth Guzman, Margaret Franklin, Andrea Bailey, and Clifford Heinzer are also seeking the Democratic nomination in VA-07.

Primary day is June 18.

By vascope