Former West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R), the presumptive Republican frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, has been outraised by businessman Bill Maloney (R) according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the state Friday. Ireland raised just $79,000 to Maloney's $139,000.
Meanwhile Maloney, whose campaign has said they would be fully funded, also loaned his campaign twice as much as Ireland -- $250,000 to her $125,000. He currently has $330,000 in the bank compared to Ireland's $162,000. It remains to be seen if the previously unknown Maloney can use that cash advantage to close the name recognition gap and make up the ground necessary in the month and a half left before the primary to tighten the race.
Other Republican candidates in the race lag in fundraising. Putnam County prosecutor Mark Sorsaia (R) raised about $27,000, loaned himself about $15,000, and has under $10,000 cash on hand. State Sen. Clark Barnes (R) raised just $3,700 but loaned his campaign $100,000, ending up with about $94,000 in the bank.
Over on the Democratic side, there are fewer surprises. As expected, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) raised the most -- over $1 million, and has over $900,000 in the bank. House Speaker Rick Thompson (D) raised about $666,000, loaned his campaign about $105,000 and has nearly $700,000 in his campaign chest.
Treasurer John Perdue (D) raised nearly $600,000 and has about $330,000 on hand. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) received about $216,000 in contributions and ended up with about $183,000 in the bank. Acting State Senate President Jeff Kessler (D) raised just under $95,000 and has about $62,000 cash on hand.
The limited polling that's been done has shown Tomblin and Tennant to be leading the field. Tennant's campaign is banking on her name recognition to make up for the lower fundraising numbers: in a release on the fundraising report, Tennant campaign manager Julie Sweet cites Tennant's "millions of dollars worth of name recognition." Thompson and Perdue have both already gone on the air with television ads.
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