11 December 2008

W.Va. '08 Congressional Race Spending Topped $12.5 million

West Virginia's candidates for U.S. House and Senate spent more than $12.5 million on their races this year, The Associated Press reports, continuing (edit) its post-general review of campaign finance.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., accounts for more than half the total. He plowed more than $7 million into his successful campaign against underfunded Republican Jay Wolfe.

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-3rd, spent $805,493 against a GOP opponent whose lack of fundraising exempted him from Federal Election Commission filing requirements. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-1st, was unopposed but still spent $1.03 million.

The most competitive congressional race saw Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, spend $2.3 million, or twice as much as Democratic challenger Anne Barth. About 18 percent of the $1.6 million Barth laid out during her campaign was consumed by her party's contested primary.

Capito also outraised Barth by 2-to-1, and nearly outraised her by that margin, during the final weeks of their race. She also benefited from $721,000 worth of ads supporting her from National Right to Life, the American Hospital Association and the National Association of Realtors.

Update: "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $267,712 promoting Barth and an equal amount attacking Capito," the article also notes, citing analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

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