After executive branch’s scandals, two new PACs form to fill the fundraising gap

After executive branch’s scandals, two new PACs form to fill the fundraising gap
From left, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Woodbridge, State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, and Del. Hala Ayala, D-Woodbridge, pose in front of the ERA bus at the Capitol Nov. 10. (Photo by Katherine Jordan)

Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s new political action committee isn’t for a gubernatorial run — at least not yet.

The Richmond Democrat launched Virginia United this week with the goal of helping capture the General Assembly.

She announced Tuesday morning in a news release that the PAC has already raised $50,000 to support legislative and local candidates this November.

“This is the last chance to take the majority before we do redistricting, we’re closer than we’ve ever been before,” McClellan said in an interview. “In 2017, it came down to pulling a name out of a bowl and I don’t want to see that happen again. If we don’t do it now, how long is it going to be?”

McClellan’s PAC rollout comes at a time when the state’s top Democrats, who traditionally raise money for legislative races, have reported paltry numbers because of various scandals: A photo with someone in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe was found on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page (he has said he’s not in the photo); Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface in college and two women accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.