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Virginia: Loyola Makes Rounds in Washington, D.C.

Ben Loyola (R), a businessman who is challenging freshman Rep. Glenn Nye (D), made the rounds in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to publicize his campaign in the 2nd district in and around Virginia Beach.

In an interview with Roll Call, Loyola described himself as a “conservative, fiscally responsible Republican who has been loyal to the party.— A captain in the Naval Reserve, Loyola said he is looking forward to campaigning in and representing a district that has one of the nation’s highest concentrations of military personnel.

A half-dozen Republicans have announced plans to challenge Nye, though Loyola and automobile dealer Scott Rigell are far and away the best-funded candidates — in large part because of their personal wealth.

Loyola, who owns an engineering firm, put $500,000 of his own money into his campaign in the third quarter, when he also raised $48,000 from individual donors.

Rigell’s $453,000 in third-quarter receipts came from a nearly equal mix of donations from individual donors and personal contributions from the candidate. The National Republican Congressional Committee recently named Rigell as an “On the Radar— candidate as part of its “Young Guns— candidate recruitment program.

Nye, who unseated Rep. Thelma Drake (R) in 2008, is one of the best-financed first-term Democrats in Congress. He reported raising $900,000 in the first nine months of this year and had $726,000 in cash on hand as October began.

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