Spending in 13 Virginia Senate races topped $1 million as Republicans and Democrats battled for control of the chamber, while the number of seven-figure races dropped sharply in the Republican-dominated House, according to a Virginia Public Access Project analysis.
VPAP, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics, produced the analysis Thursday, the deadline for General Assembly candidates to file campaign finance reports.
Despite aggressive, well-funded challenges, the incumbents won re-election in a pair of contests for the two Senate districts that encompass the Roanoke Valley.
Sixteen-year Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, defeated Del. Dave Nutter in a battle for the 21st District, while Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Roanoke County, beat Brandon Bell to win a second term.
Democratic Sen. John Edwards has defeated Republican Del. David Nutter in a key race for Democrats as they try to retain control of the state Senate.
Edwards received 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday's legislative elections over 44 percent for Nutter.
An expected low turnout of voters today will pick the winners in a $13 million race for 26 contested seats in the Virginia state Senate.
Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Surprises await some voters, because redistricting may have put unfamiliar names on their ballots. All area localities except Lynchburg have contested races for some local offices.
After redrawing Virginia's state Senate districts to their liking and pumping millions of dollars into races to protect targeted incumbents, Democrats face a tough challenge Tuesday keeping their slim Senate majority.
Only three Democrats are uncontested in seeking Senate re-election while 11 Republicans have no opponent. Seventeen Democratic incumbents have challengers, while only four sitting Republican senators have opponents.
After millions of dollars in spending by political parties and campaign committees, an avalanche of attack ads and slick mail brochures, and appeals from the state's most visible politicians, Virginia voters will decide Tuesday which party controls the state Senate for the next four years.
All 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for election in redrawn districts that lawmakers approved earlier this year.
Virginia Republicans need to capture three more seats in the state Senate on Tuesday to win a majority there and cement their control of state government. Here's a look at the most closely watched Senate races.
Look who’s joined the party.
U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, who is not exactly known for his love of campaigning, is appearing in TV ads for Democrats as they try to retain control of their fragile majority in the state Senate next week. (Check out his ad for Sen. John Edwards of Roanoke below.)
Two groups have sent out campaign mailers to teachers in six key senate districts across Virginia, targeting Republicans who they say will cut education funding.
With unfettered control of Virginia government possible for Republicans in next week's state Senate races and Democrats girded to prevent it, spending by the two parties has topped $6.4 million the past four weeks.
New campaign finance filings Monday — the last before the Nov. 8 election — show Republican groups spent more than $2.2 million of it on five of their most targeted races since Oct. 1.