One House race which could get VERY interesting (but hasn't attracted much attention in the blogosphere or the mainstream press) is the race between Earnie Porta and incumbent Republican Michele McQuigg [candidate Web site] in the 51st district, which consists of parts of Prince William County including Occoquan. Janet, the leader of our Occoquan Meetup, sent me this fundraising update from his campaign:
Porta out raised his opponent during the most recent filing period. He was able to raise over $24,000 while McQuigg brought in just over $22,000, opening eyes to an already red-hot House of Delegates campaign.
Even though both campaigns reported raising similar amounts and are neck and neck with each other in cash on hand, their contributions have come from starkly different sources.
"Ours is a grassroots effort," Porta said. "People who believe Prince William County deserves more effective representation are giving of their time and money to help my campaign."
During the April through June period McQuigg raised $775 in contributions of $100 or less. Porta raised ten times that amount, bringing in over $7,000 in low dollar contributions. McQuigg has only listed 36 contributors on her most recent filing report including many large corporations and Political Action Committees. [McQuigg's top donor list is here.] Porta's funds were raised from 159 contributors including Prince William County-based small businesses and individuals. [Porta's top donor list is here.]
The strong fundraising effort demonstrates that Porta is prepared to mount a serious challenge. "People already know Earnie is running a tough, grassroots campaign that fights for every vote," Porta's campaign manager Lucinda Guinn said. "What this report shows us is that he will also compete dollar for dollar with his opponent."
Earnie Porta is an Occoquan resident running for Delegate in the 51st District. Porta is an attorney as well as a financial planner, and has spent most of his career working in finance. Porta is the Vice-Chair of the Occoquan Magisterial District Democratic Committee, and a member both of Historic Occoquan, Inc. and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
I had the pleasure of meeting Earnie at a fundraiser for Bruce Roemmelt a few weeks ago, and I believe Earnie is one of the most impressive and likeable Democrats we have running this year. To learn more about Earnie Porta, read today's great RaisingKaine interview with him.