A couple of local lawmakers are preparing for the 2014 election.
You can tell which lawmakers have the next election on their minds from their most recent campaign finance filings. Scrolling through the Federal Election Commission data, you see most lawmakers in the region raised less than a $100,000, though a handful pulled in just over six figures.
Then there are two rank and file lawmakers that stand out; one is Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly. He raked in $367,000 in only four months. That could be to scare off former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who's rumored to be exploring a run in Northern Virginia. Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation says cash in the bank keeps some of those pesky challengers away.
"If you're a challenger, you're going to have to get name recognition," he says. "You actually are going to have to raise as much or more as your opponent to establish yourself as a serious candidate. So raising a lot of money can scare off a lot of potential challengers."
Then there's Virginia Republican Scott Rigell. He represents the most competitive seat in the Commonwealth down in Virginia Beach. In the first quarter of this year, he's raked in $263,000. Allison says it's important for voters to realize that campaign season never really ends in Washington.
"We're in kind of the permanent campaign and the permanent fundraising."
Allison says that means there's a thin line in today's Washington between legislating and fundraising.