Tuesday's special election in southwestern Virginia has statewide significance, and campaign fundraising has soared as a result.

The two leading candidates in the 38th Senate District have raised more than $1 million between them.

Tuesday's vote will decide which party controls the Virginia Senate. And that has allowed both the Democratic and Republican candidates to pull in some big bucks.

The latest campaign finance figures, reported by the Virginia Public Access Project, show that Republican Ben Chafin has raised almost $600 thousand.

Democrat Mike Hymes is close behind with more than $550 thousand.

Independent Rick Mullins has raised about $12 thousand 500 dollars.

Bob Denton is a Professor at Virginia Tech and a WDBJ7 political analyst. "And special elections, even though that district by double digits tends to lean Republican, anything can happen in a special election," Denton said in an interview Monday. "So they're really covering their bases and really using heavy media that we probably wouldn't see if it was a general election."

Chafin's largest contribution, $214 thousand, came from the Senate Republican Caucus.
Hymes' largest contributor, at more than $500 thousand, is the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus.

The 38th Senate District stretches from Radford to Big Stone Gap.
The polls open Tuesday at 6AM.