Donovan leads the pack on fundraising

T.J. Donovan
Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan kicks off his campaign for Vermont attorney general in October 2015. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger

Thanks to a large carryover from the 2016 campaign, newly installed Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan has the largest war chest of the five statewide officeholders.

Data from the secretary of state’s office show that Donovan, a Chittenden County Democrat, has $121,132 in cash on hand — four times more than the rest of the statewide officeholders combined. Donovan raised $383,512 in 2016 and didn’t have a strong challenger. Hence, the Vermont attorney general, who is widely believed to be a future candidate for higher office, was able to carry over nearly a third of his contributions for a future race.

For more information about campaign donors and candidates, VTDigger’s database from 2009-2016 here.

Most of Donovan’s expenses are related to campaign software and events, including a campaign rally in June at the St. John’s Club in Burlington.

The largest contributor to Donovan in the slow off season period was the Democratic Attorney Generals Association, which donated $4,000.

All candidates were required to file campaign finance reports on July 15.

By comparison, Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who was elected in November, has just $18,889 in cash. Scott burned up most of the $1.48 million he raised in 2016 in a bruising primary with retired JP Morgan Chase executive Bruce Lisman and the general campaign against Sue Minter, a Democrat, in which he scored a 9-point lead on Election Day.

David Zuckerman, the newly installed lieutenant governor, has just $4,225 on hand after spending about $5,000 on events and taxes over the past six months.

Incumbents who did not face contested races in the last cycle have even less money on hand. Secretary of State Jim Condos has $3,642; state treasurer Beth Pearce has just $1,162 in the bank after donating $3,500 to the Vermont Democratic Party this campaign cycle; and Doug Hoffer, the state auditor, has less than $100 on hand.

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Anne Galloway

About Anne

Anne Galloway is the founder and editor of VTDigger.org and the executive director of the Vermont Journalism Trust. She has been a journalist for 20 years. Galloway was the editor of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus from 2006 through 2009. For many years, she was a contributing writer for Seven Days, and her reporting has appeared in The New York Times (Vows column), the New York Daily News, Vermont Life and City Pages (Minneapolis). In March 2017, she was a finalist for the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for her investigation into allegations of fraud at Jay Peak Resort. Galloway was also a finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors FOI Award in April 2017.

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  • Edward Letourneau

    …and the voters thought he was going to spend his time upholding the law.

    • Jim Manahan

      I never had that illusion.

  • Jason Wells

    More than almost any other current Vt. pol Donovan scares me the most. As I have posted here in the past He is just as bad or worse when compared to Shumlin and Sorrell. It truly is a shame He was elected as He has already proven he wants to continue the Sorrell legacy of keeping most aspects of the AG’s office hidden behind legal gobbledygook. FOIA request you say? Ha good luck with that.

    • Pat McGarry

      Donovan has held his current office six months. Sorrell held the office 20 years. How can you possibly compare them?

      Stop using a capital He unless you’re referring to Christ.

      • Jason Wells

        Lets see unless you have been to busy spell checking internet posts for the last few years you would know Donovan has held public office for quite some time as the Chittenden Co Attorney. Plenty of a record to base a comparison on the guy loves the cameras and cares only about obtaining a higher office. Very transparent.

  • Steve Baker

    He’s touched all the Liberal Progressive talking points to fill his resume. Looks like a showdown between TJ and Zuckerman.
    Never mind Government transparency, Massive Fraud, Illegals…