Luria’s campaign contributions, spending outpace Kiggans

Published 6:49 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

Democratic U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria has raised more than three times, and spent more than double, the amount of money as her Republican challenger, state Sen. Jen Kiggans.

According to campaign finance reports Virginia’s two 2nd District congressional candidates filed Oct. 15 with the Federal Elections Commission, Luria received $8.7 million in campaign contributions from Jan. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022, and spent $5.9 million, including just over $67,000 in campaign contribution refunds.

Kiggans, by comparison, raised $2.7 million and spent $2.26 million during the same 21-month period, including paying out just over $9,000 in campaign contribution refunds.

Political action committee contributions to Kiggans, which total $10,500 over the past 21 months, account for 0.38% of her fundraising. Luria, by comparison, has received $6,534.18 from political action committees during the same period, accounting for 0.07% of Luria’s total fundraising.

“Traditional PACs are limited to making contributions up to $5,000 per election per candidate to a candidate’s authorized campaign committee,” said Christian Hilland, deputy press officer for the FEC. “Super PACs may accept unlimited funds from individuals, corporations and labor organizations to fund independent expenditures but are prohibited from making direct contributions to candidates.”

According to the two candidates’ campaign finance reports, political action committees have independently spent over $1.2 million to oppose Luria and another $1.3 million to support Kiggans. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a 2011-founded super PAC dedicated to winning a Republican House of Representatives majority, accounted for nearly the entirety of the $1.2 million opposing Luria and 46% of the $1.3 million supporting Kiggans.

Spending by PACs to support Luria totaled $319,790.50, more than $280,000 of which came from the 2006-founded VoteVets PAC. Spending by PACs to oppose Kiggans totaled $87,782,20, the entirety of which came from the 2019-founded Free American PAC.

According to Kiggans’ campaign finance reports, Dwight Schaubach, a Carrollton businessman, was her top donor from Isle of Wight County, having contributed $5,800 on March 31 and another $5,800 on May 25. The March 31 donation listed Schaubach as chief executive officer of Schaubach Companies of VA Inc., while the May 25 donation listed Schaubach as founder of Bay Disposal, which Smithfield and Isle of Wight County both contract with for waste disposal. Schaubach made two additional donations, each in the amount of $2,900, on March 31 and May 24, but both were refunded.

Total donations from Isle of Wight County totaled $13,255 for Kiggans and $82.04 for Luria.

“Individuals may contribute up to $2,900 to a federal candidate’s primary election and an additional $2,900 to their general election,” Hilland explained.

Isle of Wight County Supervisor Dick Grice is also listed among Kiggans’ repeat donors, having contributed four separate payments of $250 to Kiggans’ campaign on Dec. 31, Feb. 7, March 31 and June 1, one of which was refunded. No other elected supervisors in Isle of Wight or Surry counties, nor School Board members, appear to have donated to either campaign.

Luria’s campaign finance reports list only one donor from Isle of Wight County, a total of $82.04 over four separate donations. There were no reported donations from Surry County to either campaign.