Two and a half years before the election in 2005, Delegate Robert McDonnell from Virginia Beach is trying to set the record straight "after what critics say are some recent missteps," according to this horse-race article in the Richmond paper. One of the particulars is McDonnell's role as leader of a tax-reform committee, which in "its two years of study, the committee punted on most major tax-restructuring issues, prompting accusations that it lacked the political fortitude to make tough recommendations," according to the newspaper, which notes that McDonnell "[w]hen first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991 . . . was known principally as an anti-abortion social conservative with strong ties to television broadcaster Pat Robertson." The article notes that Steve Baril of the Williams Mullen firm in Richmond has raised more money than McDonnell. According to vpap.org, of the two Republican candidates for AG in 2005, Baril has raised $75,175, while McDonnell has raised $69,865. By comparison, the successful Kilgore campaign in 2001 ultimately raised over $2 million, according to the same source.
I don't know what the issues are for the AG race in 2005, but this sounds like a horserace article to me, of the kind lamented here and here, where it is said that the difference is this: "Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of campaign stories. "Substance" stories cover policy proposals and major campaign decisions such as the selection of a running mate. "Horserace" stories cover the ebb and flow of a campaign's political fortunes, focusing on strategic concerns." Horserace stories 2.5 years before the voting are maybe not very important, unless you have a weekly office pool on which candidate will raise the most money.