RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has taken an early fundraising lead over his rival for next year's Republican gubernatorial nomination, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to campaign finance reports.
Reports submitted to the State Board of Elections show Bolling's campaign for governor raised $961,811 during the first six months of the year to Cuccinelli's $534,156. But counting $477,000 that Cuccinelli transferred from his 2009 attorney general campaign committee and his political action committee, Liberty Now, his total is about $922,000.
Bolling reported nearly $1.5 million on hand as of June 30, still nearly a year away from the 2013 state Republican convention that will decide the nomination. Cuccinelli, with contributions and expenditures pooled from all his accounts, reported slightly more than $795,000 on hand.
Initially, the nominee was to have been chosen in a primary election, but the Republican Party of Virginia's rule-making central committee voted last month to hold a convention instead. The date and location of the convention has not been set.
That decision, cheered by Cuccinelli and opposed by Bolling, diminishes Bolling's early fundraising advantage because a nominating convention eliminates the need for expensive statewide television advertising campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts for candidates ahead of a primary election.
But the two men spent about the same amount for the first half of 2012: $466,200 for Bolling, $439,051 for Cuccinelli, counting expenses his attorney general campaign committee covered.
Bolling had a two-year head start in fundraising for the 2013 governor's race. Cuccinelli didn't enter the race until last November. Bolling began 2012 with $983,239 in the bank.
See raw totals on the Virginia Public Access Project: http://www.vpap.org