Virginia Democrats didn't field a candidate in the 19th District Senate race, but now they hope to tip the balance with a six figure contribution. In a race that pits Republican Ralph Smith against Independent Brandon Bell, Senate Democrats have contributed more than 200- thousand dollars to Bell's campaign.
On Tuesday morning, Smith traded the campaign trail for Interstate 81, getting a closer look at the blasting that's clearing the way for new climbing lanes in Montgomery County, but he reacted to the news that Virginia Senate Democrats contributed $202,500 to his opponent's campaign in October.
"I am who I am," Smith said in an interview. "My opponent is who and what somebody is willing to pay him to be. That is the whole story and that is what we're about."
Brandon Bell said he hasn't sold his votes to Senate Democrats. "I very much said from the beginning that I was going to serve as an independent conservative, right of center , not far right of center, but willing to consider both sides of what is best for the district," Bell told News7. "That's what I was going to go down there to do."
Bell's television advertisements question Smith's residency and his support for seniors. Smith described the attacks as "juvenile." Bell acknowledged his advertisements are aggressive, but insisted they are accurate.
Voters will weigh in on November 8th.