By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fundraising arm of the Democratic Party boosted cash transfers to its Virginia state affiliate in August as the party seeks to hold on to the state's governorship in a closely fought Nov. 2 election.
A campaign finance disclosure filed on Monday showed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gave nearly $700,000 last month to the Democratic Party of Virginia. That roughly equaled the sum the DNC had transferred to the state party in the prior six months.
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is facing Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin in the gubernatorial election. New Jersey voters will also vote in a governor's race on Nov. 2, with state legislature seats up for grabs as well in the two states.
The contests will be a political barometer ahead of November 2022 congressional elections when President Joe Biden's Democrats will defend razor-thin majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
McAuliffe holds a narrow lead on Youngkin in opinion polls, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average. Current Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, cannot seek re-election because of a state rule barring governors from serving consecutive terms.
New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is facing Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, a former state legislator.
Murphy has a large lead in opinion polls and campaign finance disclosures filed on Monday by the DNC and its Republican counterpart, the Republican National Committee (RNC), showed both parties made only modest transfers to New Jersey state affiliates in August.
The RNC transferred around $250,000 to its Virginia state affiliate in August. It also gave more than $1 million to its California party affiliate last month ahead of a failed Republican-led effort to recall the state's Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom.
Newsom easily prevailed in last Tuesday's recall election. The RNC's payments to the California affiliate in August were among its biggest expenditures during the month. Republicans will also be defending in next year's elections the four U.S. House seats in California they won from Democrats in 2020.
The disclosures, filed with the Federal Election Commission, showed the RNC raised $12.2 million in August, higher than the DNC's haul of $9.9 million.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Peter Cooney)