July 12, 2011 - 9:29 am

BY OLYMPIA MEOLA

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s political operation has $2.96 million on hand to bolster Republican efforts to capture control of the Democrat-majority Senate in this fall’s statehouse contests.

The political action committee, Opportunity Virginia, raised $1.53 million between April 1 and June 30.

Nearly $1.4 million of that came through 57 large contributions — donations of $10,000 or more — according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics.

A full list of donors will be released Friday, when second-quarter finance reports are due.

"This strong continued financial support is reflective of Gov. McDonnell’s strong record of results: expanding jobs and opportunity; reducing the size of government; and making historic investments in transportation and higher education," said Phil Cox, McDonnell’s senior political advisor, in announcing the PAC’s haul.

The strong financial position of the Governor’s PAC will allow him to support candidates this fall for the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate who support his positive jobs and opportunity agenda.”