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Governor’s race draws $11 million total in first-quarter fundraising

The 13 candidates running for the Virginia executive mansion raised a total of over $11 million in three months, according to recently released finance reports. 

Capital News Service

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By Noah Fleischman

The 13 candidates running for the Virginia executive mansion raised a total of over $11 million in three months, according to recently released finance reports.

The candidates had more than $18 million in cash on hand in the first quarter, according to finance report data reported by the Virginia Public Access Project. Cash on hand is tracked as accessible money and in-kind donations, which include non-cash gifts such as goods, services and expertise.

Four candidates running for governor each logged more than $2 million in cash on hand.

Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said it’s uncommon to have that many candidates with large amounts of money on hand.

“It’s rare to have that many people running for governor,” Farnsworth said. “And it’s even rarer still for there to be so many candidates with bank accounts at that level.”

Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe had the largest war chest of any candidate, clocking in with more than $8.5 million cash on hand. Republican candidates and businessmen Glenn Youngkin and Pete Snyder trailed McAuliffe with just over $3.6 million and $2.6 million cash on hand, respectively.

McAuliffe also led all candidates in the most money raised from January to March, bringing in more than $4.1 million. Reported loans and in-kind donations are not included in cash raised totals reported by Capital News Service.

“He’s the only candidate who has been governor previously,” Farnsworth said of the advantage McAuliffe has in the Democratic race. “He has experience in statewide elections, as well as with the national Democratic Party, which has created a lot of fundraising opportunities.”

Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Woodbridge, rounded out the top four candidates, with more than $2.3 million cash on hand. She trailed Youngkin and McAuliffe and ranked third in fundraising in the first quarter, logging more than $1.8 million. Carroll Foy edged out Snyder, who raised over $1.3 million.

Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, reported more than $321,000 cash on hand and Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Midlothian, recorded just over $205,000. Cox ranked third in fundraising for Republicans, bringing in more than $376,000, while Chase logged more than $116,000 in donations.

Republican candidate Sergio de la Pena, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere affairs, checked in between Cox and Chase, raising more than $202,000.

Candidates serving in the General Assembly could not start fundraising until the session ended.

Farnsworth also said Democratic candidates have more cash on hand because the party is holding a primary, unlike the Republicans, who are using a convention to nominate a candidate.

“The Democrats are going with a primary, which involves a great deal of effort to connect with voters across the commonwealth,” Farnsworth said. “When you’re running in a convention, money may be less important.

Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, logged just over $100,000 cash on hand and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax had just shy of $100,000. Carter raised more than $154,000 with over $93,000 of it from cash donations of $100 or less. Fairfax raised almost $27,000.

In the lieutenant governor race, Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, led the pack of 13 candidates with more than $960,000 cash on hand. Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, followed Rasoul with just north of $605,000 on hand.

Rasoul also edged out his Democrat opponents in fundraising with over $620,000, followed by Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan who brought in over $365,00.

Two former Republican delegates are vying for lieutenant governor and both started without cash on hand in January. Winsome Sears, a former Republican delegate from Winchester, outraised former Del. Tim Hugo, R-Fairfax, in the quarter, recording more than $160,000 in donations. Hugo brought in over $103,000.

Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat vying for his third term in the position, led the six candidates. He reported more than $1.3 million cash on hand. Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, recorded just over $1 million, second-most of the candidates.

Herring outraised Jones in the first quarter as well, logging more than $624,000, while Jones raised more than $456,000.

Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, logged the most of the four Republican attorney general candidates, with more than $429,000 cash on hand. Miyares raised more than $190,000 in the first quarter. He is trailed by Republican contender Jack White, who raised over $153,00. White is an ordained minister and Army veteran.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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Community

Richmond.com Reporting Pop’s On Grace Closing in July

Fans of Pop’s only have a few month’s to hit the spot on Grace.

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From Richmond.com and Karri Piefer

The pandemic, of course, and the devastating financial impact it had on restaurants, is among the reasons the restaurant will close.

“[There are] lots of layered reasons, some stemming from pandemic, but ultimately things can’t be the way they were,” he said. “And the vision has changed.”

But before everyone runs out and tries to crowd the restaurant all at once, remember, there are at least two months of Pop’s opportunities left.

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Community

3rd Street Diner Sold

The exact plans for the space are unknown at this time but it supposedly will be a new restaurant.

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The iconic corner cafe’s sale was announced yesterday.

Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is pleased to announce the sale of the former 3rd Street Diner property located at 218 East Main Street in the City of Richmond, Virginia.

Ya Hua Zheng & Jianwei Tang purchased the 3,928 square foot retail building from 3rd Street LLC for $550,000 and will operate as a new restaurant.

Reilly Marchant of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.

I’ll confess to having never set foot inside the diner but I’ll be bummed to see the neon go away if they go down that path.

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Downtown

New national study: Downtown Richmond leads City’s growth over two decades

“Downtown Richmond continues to drive economic value, creativity, and innovation for the entire region.”

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Richmond’s downtown is home to more than half the city’s jobs, it has absorbed nearly half of the city’s population growth over the last two decades, and it represents 35% of the city’s total assessed property value, all on less than 5% of the city’s total land area. A study by the International Downtown Association, and recently reported by Venture Richmond, offered this and other insights.

“Downtown has a remarkable concentration of the city’s real estate and cultural assets and has been a growth driver for the City’s transformation. It has also had a significant impact on the image of the entire Region,” said Lucy Meade, Venture Richmond’s director of economic development and community relations.

As part of Venture Richmond’s Annual Community Update, David Downey, President and CEO of the International Downtown Association, provided insights into how downtown Richmond is well-equipped to rebound from the financial challenges stemming from the pandemic while sharing a new study examining the value of Richmond’s downtown.

Various generations – from Generation Z to older populations – continue to have a high demand for the downtown experience, according to Downey. He noted that Richmond’s strong housing market, walkability, quality open spaces, and diversity scores, particularly in downtown, are positive indicators for the future.

“Downtown Richmond continues to drive economic value, creativity, and innovation for the entire region,” Downey said.

With the COVID-19 vaccine distribution continuing, Downey emphasized the need for companies to create productive and efficient plans for returning to the office to address the potential loss of innovation, creativity, and collaboration when working virtually.

During the event, Downey also shared takeaways from The Value of Downtowns and Center Cities, a report that quantifies the value of U.S. downtowns across more than 150 metrics under five core value principles with a focus on how downtowns contribute to the city and region around them. From 2017-2020, the IDA analyzed a total of 37 downtowns and center cities across the country.

The pre-COVID study finds that not only does Richmond’s downtown account for a significant proportion of the region’s jobs, but the city’s core experienced the region’s biggest percentage spike in residential population growth since 2000.

The significant and insightful results from the study included the following highlights. The full report can be found atVentureRichmond.com.

Jobs

Richmond’s downtown accounted for more than half (53%) of the city’s jobs (77,465 out of 147,251) compared to the average of 40% for other “established Downtowns” in the study. Richmond leads the list of “established downtowns” with 63% of the City’s knowledge industry jobs, which is relatively higher than Seattle (58%), Minneapolis (58%), and Miami (52%); compared to the average of 41% for other “established Downtowns.”

The private sector employs 66% of jobs Downtown (50,910 jobs) and knowledge industry jobs account for 35,100 jobs.

Workers in the city center are better educated, comparably. Two in five (39%) of downtown workers have at least a college degree vs. one in three (33%) workers citywide and 31% in the region.

Residential Population

Downtown is young and educated. Today, 40% of our residents are between 18-24, and 30% of residents are between 25-34. The Downtown residential population is well educated with 57% having a bachelor’s degree or higher—up from 40% in 2010 and 40% are enrolled in college.

Most impressive was the increase in residential units, soaring 71% since 2010. However, only 14% of downtown residents own their own homes, but the racial balance of homeowners in downtown is close to even: 51% white vs. 49% non-white.

Economy and Quality of Life

Downtown is an entertainment and tourism destination with 70% of the citywide hotel rooms located Downtown – 16 properties with 2,581 rooms.

According to the report, Richmond’s downtown has one-fourth of the city’s retail businesses (478) and one-third of its restaurants and bars (252). Total annual downtown retail sales of $526 million represent 23% of the city’s retail sales. Non-Downtown residents account for 55% of that economic activity. The city center’s restaurants, bars, and breweries generate a combined $221 million in annual sales, 89% of which come from non-residents.

Downtown received a strong Walk Score of 94% and a Bike Score of 80% compared to other established Downtowns and an average Walk Score of 85% and Bike Score of 70%.

The report found that downtown Richmond’s sustainable transportation numbers left room for improvement with 65% of Downtown residents commuting alone compared to 35% commuting to work using a sustainable form of transportation (i.e. do not drive to work alone).

“As our downtown businesses continue to meet the challenges imposed by the pandemic, this IDA report is a timely reminder of the value that downtown Richmond brings to both the city and the region,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond.  “Our downtown will always play a significant role in our economic, civic, and cultural lives. As more people receive the vaccine, we are confident in the economic rebound of downtown.”

To view the full IDA report online, visit Venture Richmond’s website here: https://venturerichmond.com/about-us/reports/2020-ida-study-richmond/

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