The race for Virginia attorney general got a lot more expensive Thursday, as the biggest donors to both campaigns announced more than $500,000 each in new contributions to their party's candidates.

The Republican Attorneys General Association donated $550,000 to Republican John Adams, who is trying to unseat first-term incumbent Mark Herring, a Democrat, on Nov. 7. The Republican group has now contributed about $4.1 million to Adams, a conservative Richmond lawyer.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association was planning to announce later Thursday that it has pumped another $750,000 into Herring's campaign fund - a $500,000 donation made last week and $225,000 this week - bringing its total cash contribution to $2.5 million. The group has also made in-kind contributions of about $470,000 worth to the progressive incumbent.

With 12 days to go until the election, Herring has the financial advantage in the race, with $6.2 million raised to Adams' $3.4 million, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Political Access Project.

Most polls have shown Herring with a narrow but consistent lead in what has traditionally been a low-turnout election.

The Republican attorney's general group signaled earlier this year that it would break a long-standing practice of not spending money on races where one candidate is an incumbent. Its Democratic counterpart quickly followed suit. The Virginia contest is the only attorney general's race in the nation this fall.

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