CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Political action committees have spent more than $6.5 million trying to sway voters on state elections, according to public records.
The largest of those expenditures are from outside the state's borders, though Democrat-friendly in-state unions have spent about $230,000 total, mostly on numerous legislative races.
The spending is divided almost evenly between parties.
The heavy spenders are mostly from out of state. For instance, the Democratic Governors Association has spent about $2.6 million so far on behalf of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, according to public information compiled by Republican candidate Bill Maloney's campaign. The full extent of the group's spending is not yet posted to the Secretary of State's website.
The Republican Governors Association, by contrast, has spent about $990,000.
The largest single pro-Republican spender is the Center for Individual Freedom, which reports spending about $1.6 million to try to defeat Democrat Attorney General Darrell McGraw, according to West Virginia Secretary of State records. The center does not report its donors.
The Iowa-based American Future Fund put $394,000 into the race late last week, presumably on behalf of Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey.
The fund, which does not report its donors, is led by a Republican state senator in Iowa and a woman who managed the Iowa caucus campaign for George W. Bush in 2000, according to The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization.
McGraw is receiving major aid from two groups.
One is Standing Up for West Virginia, which has spent about $150,000 to aid McGraw. It's apparently a local operation.
Nearly all of that money came from recently started Pocahontas County-based Vangusta Inc.
Charleston and Pocahontas County attorney Roger Forman started Vangusta solely to funnel money to the political action committee, which is being run by Charleston political operative Larry LaCorte. Forman declined last week to say who was putting money into the shell company.