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Following the money

How are local candidates funding their campaigns?

Republican incumbent Emily Brewer has raised more than three times the amount of money as her Democratic challenger, Michael Drewry, since Jan. 1, according to campaign finance reports the 64th District House of Delegates candidates filed with the Virginia Department of Elections.

Brewer is reporting $64,000 in cash contributions this year, including 86 contributions over $100 and 59 contributions of $100 or less. Drewry, who registered with the Department of Elections on March 19, had reported just under $20,000 as of Aug. 31, including 34 contributions over $100, 56 of $100 or less and 24 in-kind contributions.

The deadline for candidates to report their contributions from July 1 through Aug. 31 was Sept. 15.

Brewer’s contributions include one five-figure donation from Dominion Energy in the amount of $10,000 on May 12. Drewry’s report shows he invested $1,200 of his own money in his campaign, plus a $650 contribution from his Agrarian Legal Services PLLC law firm. He received no five-figure donations. Contributions under $100 are unitemized and therefore, anonymous.

Brewer also had $29,646.40 left over from fundraising in prior years as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Brewer’s expenditures this election cycle have likewise been roughly double Drewry’s. As of Aug. 31, Brewer had spent $31,820.15 while Drewry had spent $15,592.34.

In other local races, Isle of Wight County School Board Chairwoman Jackie Carr, who is seeking to retain her Carrsville District seat, has raised slightly less than her challenger, John Collick.

Carr, who registered with the Department of Elections on May 25, reported $1,778.36 in contributions as of Aug. 31. Collick reported $1,812.66.

Both candidates have heavily self-funded their campaigns. Carr is reporting eight cash contributions of $100 or less, totaling $285, plus three contributions of over $100 totaling $1,493.36. Of this total, $1,243.36 came from Carr herself. Collick is reporting 12 contributions of $100 or less, totaling $770, plus $1,042.66 he loaned personally to his campaign.

Michael Cunningham, who is seeking the Hardy District School Board seat, has filed campaign finance reports showing no money in or out to date. His challenger, Todd Meier, has filed a request for exemption, according to Andrea Gaines, external affairs manager for the Virginia Department of Elections. The exemption allows him to submit one final report within 30 days after the Nov. 2 election or, if elected, before taking the oath of office, rather than filing at regular intervals during his campaign.

Hardy District Supervisor Rudolph Jefferson, who is running unopposed for reelection, has also filed a request for exemption, according to Gaines. Carrsville District Supervisor Don Rosie, who is also running unopposed for reelection, has reported no money in since Nov. 30, 2017.

The Department of Elections has no record of registration on file for Ronald Howell, who is running unopposed for the Carsley District seat on Surry County’s Board of Supervisors, Gaines said.