GOP ahead in cash race heading into Va. campaign season

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Newly filed finance reports show Virginia Republican state lawmakers have a large cash advantage over their Democratic counterparts going into this year’s campaign season. But Democrats say they don’t have as much in the bank because they’re already spending it on efforts similar to what helped their candidates, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, sweep all three statewide offices in 2013. Much of this year’s legislative action will be focused on a handful of competitive races in the state Senate, where Democrats need to pick up one seat in order to flip control of the chamber. Republican leaders in the Senate hold a large cash advantage over Democratic leaders. McAuliffe political aide Brian Zuzenak says his party’s made early investments in the data-driven voter research efforts that helped Democrats last election cycle.

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