CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Massey Energy Chief Executive Don Blankenship and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are among the contributors to West Virginia's congressional candidates, the latest Federal Election Commission financial reports show.
Blankenship contributed $4,800 to Elliott "Spike" Maynard, the Democrat-turned-Republican running in the 3rd U.S. House District, during the three-month reporting period that ended June 30. David McKinley, the GOP's 1st District nominee, received $2,400 from Blankenship.
Maynard and McKinley also each attracted $3,500 from SarahPAC, Palin's political action committee that provided at least $87,500 to candidates during the quarter.
But such support did not help either GOP nominee keep pace with his Democratic opponent.
McKinley had to loan his campaign $320,000 to match the $512,000 raised by Democrat Mike Oliverio from individuals and PACs during the three months. Since launching his campaign, McKinley has devoted $570,000 in personal funds to his effort. He and Oliverio had similar balances of around $300,000 as of June 30.
Rep. Nick Rahall, the 3rd District's Democratic incumbent, meanwhile has nearly 14 times the cash on hand as GOP challenger Spike Maynard. Seeking an 18th term, Rahall sported a $1.58 million balance -- more than all the state's other congressional candidates combined -- to Maynard's $114,500. Rahall also outraised Maynard during the filing period, $174,600 to $133,700.
But Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito has an even more massive edge over her Democratic foe. The 2nd District incumbent ended June 30 with $572,000 while Virginia Lynch Graf, a former nun new to politics, had just under $2,700.
Capito does not count Blankenship or Palin among her donors, but her campaign did send $2,000 each to McKinley and Maynard, her report shows.
The 1st District race pits McKinley, a former state lawmaker and GOP chair, against Oliverio, a state senator who defeated incumbent Rep. Alan Mollohan in the May primary.
A life insurance agent, Oliverio received at least $53,000 from financial sector individuals and PACs during the quarter. Another $33,000 came from real estate interests. He also attracted more than $48,000 from contributors involved in coal, oil, natural gas and other energy-related pursuits.
Oliverio received more than $32,400 from members of the Morgantown-area Laurita family or their employees. The family's businesses include MEPCO, a coal company that is building the area's Longview power plant.