Through spring and early summer, the Democratic candidate for the right-leaning 5th District congressional seat raised about three times more campaign funds than her Republican opponent.
Federal Election Commission reports showed that Jane Dittmar’s campaign to replace Republican Rep. Robert Hurt raised $300,929 from April 1 to June 30, and also has five times more cash on hand than state Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, whose campaign raised $105,306 during the same period.
Moreover, former Albemarle County supervisor Dittmar’s campaign announced earlier in July that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had given its “Emerging Races” designation to the contest in the 5th District — a vast and mostly rural district stretching from the North Carolina line to Northern Virginia, including Rappahannock County.
“We have known since the beginning that this district is winnable with hard work and great voter turnout,” Dittmar said in a statement following the DCCC designation. An “Emerging Race,” though not as high-profile a badge as the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list, tends to attract a range of party funds as well as the attention of national donors.
Garrett’s campaign got a slightly later start than that of Dittmar, whose party nomination was unopposed, while Garrett had to win a four-way convention fight for the nomination May 14 (defeating, among others, Rappahannock County Republican Joe Whited, a former congressional staffer and military intelligence advisor).