"The Republican Governors Association just wrote a $5 million check — the largest single political donation in Virginia's history — with the goal of putting a Republican in the governor's mansion.
The whopping contribution suggests Republicans like their odds in the commonwealth, one of just two states to hold governor's races this year. But the structure of the donation would allow the RGA to take the money back if that outlook changes.
"We could end up spending none of it," RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said.
Virginia has a popular Democratic governor, but Gov. Terry McAuliffe is banned by the state's constitution from serving back-to-back terms. Four Republicans and two Democrats are running to succeed him.
"We see the Virginia governor's race as a race that's very vulnerable for party flip," Thompson said. "We see it as a race that's winnable. So we've started taking steps to do what we can."