Despite what clearly has been a huge dropoff in fundraising by Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring in the aftermath of their respective (and very different) scandals, the good news is that Virginia House and Senate Democrats are closing the money gap with Republicans anyway. Check out the graphic, below, courtesy of VPAP, for an illustration of this. Still, I feel like Virginia Dems are going to need a lot more production from the top three state officials (Northam, Fairfax and Herring) than what we saw in post-scandal 1Q19 (e.g., Northam’s “The Way Ahead” PAC basically just $2,500 after his racist yearbook photos came to light; Fairfax’s “We Rise Together” PAC sunk like a stone, raising ZERO after Vanessa Tyson accused him in early February of raping her in 2004; Herring’s “One Commonwealth” PAC picked up a bit at the end of March, but still was wayyyy down from where it should have been), if we want to win back the General Assembly this year.
How is this going to happen, when basically Northam’s and Fairfax’s abilities to campaign and/or fundraise for Democratic House and Senate candidates has imploded? Seems to me that if Northam and Fairfax don’t resign – which as far as I’m concerned is still by far the best option, replacing them with people like Jennifer McClellan and Jennifer Carroll Foy – we’re going to need Senators Kaine and Warner, our House of Representatives Democrats and 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to really pick up the slack. We’re also going to need donors who normally gave to Northam and Fairfax to give directly to candidates. Because, clearly, Republicans aren’t going to go down without a massive fight this election, and if we want to win, Democrats are going to have to make sure we have the resources we need to communicate, get out our voters, get our message out, etc. Even if Northam and Fairfax – as currently appears to be the case – fail to do the right thing and resign.