By Brandon Jarvis

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin announced on Tuesday that his campaign has raised $15.9 million in total since he officially announced his candidacy in January. According to his campaign, contributions came from 131 counties and cities in Virginia and 39 other states from around the country. Over $11 million of that total is a loan from Youngkin, however.

“Our campaign has received an outpouring of support from people in Virginia and across the country because they understand the opportunity we have this year to rebuild our Commonwealth, reignite our economy, restore excellence in education, and reestablish our commitment to public safety,” Youngkin said in a statement Tuesday.

According to the Youngkin campaign, as of May 27, they had more than $4.3 million cash on hand after taking in more during April and May than they did during February and March. $4.3 million cash on hand means that Youngkin has already spent eight figures on this race.

Youngkin’s own fortune is a reason for concern for Democrats — his large personal wealth can be a weapon for the political newcomer. One downfall to being new to Virginia politics is a low name ID across the Commonwealth — only 35,000 people participated in the nomination convention this year compared to the 365,000 that participated in the primary in 2017 to choose Ed Gillespie — meaning very few people actually voted for Youngkin compared to the number of Republican voters in the Commonwealth.

There is a way to help with that, however. Youngkin made a large 7-figure ad buy recently in an apparent attempt to boost his name ID across the state and introduce himself to regular voters. In the ad, Youngkin talks about himself and where he wants to take Virginia, while mostly ignoring the negative rhetoric that has become the norm in recent years for political ads.

On June 8, Democrats will choose their candidate who will try and keep Youngkin out of the executive mansion. Democrats are looking to win a third straight election while Youngkin hopes to entice enough Independents and middle-of-the-road Democrats to make him competitive in November. “I’m so thankful for everyone – Republicans, Democrats, independents – for investing in our movement to bring a new day to Virginia,” Youngkin said Tuesday. “Unlike Terry McAuliffe, I’m a political outsider and real business leader.” 

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