Snyder says he raised $6.4 million and Carroll Foy says she raised $1.8 million in race for governor

The latest in Virginia politics


Carroll Foy raises $1.4 million in first quarter of 2021

The gubernatorial campaign for Jennifer Carroll Foy announced on Tuesday that she raised $1.4 million between January and March of 2021 — leaving her with $2.3 million cash on hand. 

Carroll Foy is still facing an uphill battle for the Democratic nomination going up against former Governor Terry McAuliffe, state Senator Jennifer McClellan, Delegate Lee Carter and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.

McAuliffe announced an enormous fundraising haul at the end of 2020, raising more than $6 million prior to the Dec. 31 deadline. Additionally, McAuliffe showed a strong lead in the only public polls with Carroll Foy and McClellan in a statistical tie for second. Fairfax and Carter were not far behind them. 

Carroll Foy is a former state delegate that was first elected in 2017 to represent part of Prince William County. She was part of the blue wave that helped 14 other Democrats flip Republican-held districts in the House of Delegates. That wave continued to crash into 2019 and gave the Democrats control of both chambers in the General Assembly.

Then, in a historic year for Virginia, even prior to COVID-19, Democrats passed hundreds of pieces of legislation aimed at gun control, criminal justice reform, COVID-19 relief, and other progressive promises. Democrats have mostly delivered on their campaign promises to their base, legislatively, in the last two years.

Now Carroll Foy wants more. 

Virginia state legislators are not allowed to fundraise during the General Assembly session in which takes place in January and February during election years. This block puts a strain on the statewide candidates that are also legislators. 

So Carroll Foy resigned her seat in the House of Delegates at the end of 2020 so that she could focus full time on fundraising and campaigning for governor. Resigning from her seat removed that fundraising block that was in place in January and February — in turn allowing her to continue to raise the funds necessary to try and compete with McAuliffe. 

“Let’s be honest,” her campaign said in a statement at the time. “The way our political system is set up enables people like Terry McAullife – rich political insiders with strong ties to the special interests – to run for higher office. Jennifer didn’t choose fancy, high paying jobs that raked in millions to pad her own pockets. She chose to fight for working people as a public defender, magistrate judge and a foster mom.”

$1.4 million in the first quarter for Carroll Foy is a lot of money for a gubernatorial candidate in the first quarter of the year. At least $500,000 of that comes from Michael Bills, a billionaire hedge fund manager that has spent millions of dollars to gain access and influence within Virginia politics. The PAC that he funds, Clean Virginia, announced their endorsement of Carroll Foy Monday in Virginia Mercury and stated that they gave her an additional $500K on top of the $100K they had already donated to the campaign.

“Her sweeping anti-corruption and climate plans and track record — including never taking a dime from Dominion Energy — align with Clean Virginia’s goals and mission,” Clean Virginia’s executive director Brennan Gilmore said to Virginia Mercury. “We believe she is the best candidate in this critical race to determine the Commonwealth’s future and are ready to fight hard for her to be our next governor.”

Carroll Foy is the only Democratic candidate so far to release fundraising totals for the first quarter of this year. The reports are due by April 15 and the nominee will be chosen in a primary election on June 8.


Snyder announces $6.4 million in cash for gubernatorial campaign

Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder announced Monday that he raised $6.4 million in the first two months of his campaign. It is unclear, however, how much of that money was raised from external donors, or how much of it comes from Snyder, a venture capitalist.

Snyder is seeking the Republican nomination to run for governor this year in what many people believe is the best opportunity for the GOP to win a statewide race since their last victory in 2009. 

Snyder is the first of the Republican candidates to release a fundraising figure, but the official reports from each campaign are due by April 15. In addition to Snyder, Delegate Kirk Cox, state Senator Amanda Chase and former Carlyle Group executive Glenn Youngkin are competing for the nomination. 

Snyder and Youngkin weren’t officially in the race prior to the last filing deadline at the end of 2020 — so April 15 will be the first peek into who is donating to their campaign. Cox entered the race in November of last year and reported nearly $750K in donations at the December 31 deadline. Chase launched her campaign in early 2020 and reported close to $670K at the end of the year. 

Octavia Johnson, Peter Doran, and Sergio de la Pena are also vying for the nomination, but they have yet to display any momentum or endorsements in the race.   

The Snyder campaign has not responded to questions from Virginia Scope as to how much of this money was donated or loaned from Snyder himself. 

“The outpouring of support is overwhelming for our conservative movement to open our schools, save small businesses, and restore the God-given rights of all Virginians,” Snyder said in a press release Monday. “I’m grateful for those across the Commonwealth joining our campaign to bring leadership back to Richmond and work to make Virginia #1 again.”

The fundraising announcement from Snyder comes one day after a story in the Washington Post highlighted the behind-the-scenes moves that Snyder’s campaign has made in attempts to win the convention. The story paints Snyder as a political insider, which is the opposite of the campaign that he has run so far.

Additionally, on Monday, Snyder announced the endorsement of Lt. Col. Oliver North, a Vietnam veteran and former President of the National Rifle Association. “Virginia’s next governor needs to open our schools, open our economy, open our houses of worship, protect the sanctity of life, and vigorously defend our second amendment,” North said in a statement Monday.

The Republican nominee will be chosen in an unassembled convention taking place at remote voting locations across Virginia on May 8. Republicans that pre-registered and were cleared by their local committee will go to vote at one of the remote locations with a ranked-choice ballot. The Democratic nominee will be chosen in a June 8 primary election in which any registered voter in Virginia can participate.


McClellan Highlights Family History in a new campaign video

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jennifer McClellan released a new video, “Still Fighting,” featuring McClellan’s family connection to the long struggle for equity and how the legacy of injustice still alive today has motivated her to continue fighting to secure equal justice for all.


Gubernatorial candidates agree to make paid sick days a priority

Last week, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB 2137, a bill intended provide paid sick days to more than 30,000 Virginia home health care workers.

However, more than 1.2 million Virginians still lack paid sick days.

Freedom Virginia released a survey of all Virginia gubernatorial candidates, in which many of the leading candidates pledged to make paid sick days a top priority for their potential administrations. 

Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Jennifer McClellan and educator Princess Blanding all committed to prioritizing a paid sick days standard. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax also had previously announced his support for paid sick days.

“This is a big step for not only Virginia, but also our movement for paid sick days,” said Maddie Beecher, Executive Director of Freedom Virginia. “Following Governor Northam’s signing of HB2137, it is now clear that many of the major gubernatorial candidates would prioritize a paid sick days standard for all Virginian workers. We’re confident that the fight for paid sick days for Virginian families will be a top priority in the 2022 legislative session.” 

Freedom Virginia reached out to every candidate for Governor of both parties, as well as independent candidates.

Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy

“I will absolutely make paid sick days a top priority as Governor. The feeling of living paycheck to paycheck is one I know well. Growing up in Petersburg, we scraped to get by. We worked hard day after day, budgeting every penny we earned. Members of my family still make the minimum wage, and I know how difficult it is for them to survive on what’s in their bank account.  My story isn’t unique, and the reality is that Virginia’s working families aren’t getting a fair shake. Our Commonwealth is ranked as the worst state in the country for workers, and the issues we’ve always faced have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. My top priority as Governor is to put working families first – from bringing diverse, high-paying jobs to every corner of our Commonwealth, to fighting for the good benefits, including paid sick days, that every worker deserves.”

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe

“As governor, I will fight to ensure all Virginians have access to paid sick days... and paid family medical leave. Iin order to rebuild our post-COVID-19 economy, we have to invest in our most critical resource -- our workforce. No Virginian should have to choose between their paycheck and caring for a sick family member, or recovering from a serious illness or injury, or caring for a new child. Approximately 41 percent of private sector workers, 1.2 million people in Virginia, had no paid sick days or any paid time off (PTO). The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated how critical this issue is -- not only to supporting low-wage workers, but also to ensuring that employees who are sick do not come to work and spread illnesses, like COVID-19.”

Sen. Jennifer McClellan

I was a co-sponsor of Senator Barbara Favola’s 2020 paid sick leave bill (SB 481) and Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s 2021 paid sick leave bill (HB 2137). While I was pleased we were able to get sick leave for home care workers, I fully support and will continue to push for paid sick leave as provided in SB 481. This is one of my campaign’s central priorities: stabilizing and rebuilding our economic safety nets. Just as I have worked with my colleagues in both houses of the General Assembly to provide paid sick leave, as Governor, I will make paid sick leave a priority as part of my economic recovery plan.

Princess Blanding

“As Governor, I will fight for, protect, and facilitate the power of the working class in Virginia to ensure more equitably shared wealth and power. I will enact laws to ensure full time workers receive three weeks yearly paid time off, and two weeks minimum sick leave. I will also guarantee three months pregnancy/new child leave and a combined four weeks familial caregiver/bereavement leave job protection for all workers.”


Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

“Fighting for a family friendly Virginia economy and advocating for paid sick leave for our essential workers… is critical always but right now particularly in this moment as we deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.” 


Charlottesville mayor says graphic poem illustrates Black experience in city - Washington Post

by Laura Vozzella

Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker was having a long and frustrating day.

She has lots of them, like plenty of mayors, even though hers is a wealthy, picturesque college town that regularly pops up on those "best places" lists. Nothing in particular set her off, but the battles she had been mired in for months — with the City Council, the city staff, some ordinary Charlottesvillians — were getting to her.

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Terry McAuliffe’s Record On Race Gets A Second Look In Virginia Governor’s Race - Huffington Post

by Daniel Marans

In May 2015, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have restricted how long police departments in Virginia could store data collected from license plate readers.

McAuliffe had plenty of reasons for blocking the bill’s passage. Law enforcement leaders in the state pointed to a few high-profile cases in which license plate information helped them prosecute crimes long after the data was collected. And though McAuliffe wanted a 60-day limit on the storage, the state legislature refused to budge from its insistence that the data storage last just a week.

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Retired Marine colonel seeks nomination to challenge Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) - Washington Post

by Meagan Flynn

A Marine veteran and retired pharmaceutical businessman is seeking the 2022 Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Rob Wittman (R) in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District — historically unfriendly terrain for a Democrat.

If successful, former U.S. Marine Col. Stewart Navarre would face a challenging general-election contest against Wittman, a popular incumbent who has been in office since 2007.

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UR board of trustees will reevaluate decision to keep building names with ties to racism - Richmond Times-Dispatch

by Eric Kolenich

The University of Richmond’s board of trustees made a conciliatory move Monday in the ongoing conflict over two campus building names associated with racism.

Three days after the university’s faculty senate censured the board’s rector, the board responded by saying it had suspended its decision to leave the names of Ryland Hall and Mitchell-Freeman Hall unchanged.

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