To prepare for the upcoming election, Tysons Reporter looked into how Board of Supervisor candidates in Fairfax County are funding their campaigns.
Both Democrats in the races for the Providence and Dranesville District Supervisor seats have much larger war chests than their Republican opponents by thousands of dollars.
Tysons Reporter took a look at where the donations to the four candidates’ campaigns are coming from.
Providence District Supervisor Race
Democrat Dalia Palchik has raised just roughly $110,000 in monetary campaign contributions.
Major donors include the Jefferson Village Association LP — real estate developers in Bethesda, Md. who have donated $25,000 — and Alison Georgelas, a managing consultant at IBM, with $5,000.
Palchik also received smaller amounts from individuals or organizations like the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics — IAFF Local 2068, who donated $1,500 and openly endorsed her.
Karl Frisch, who is running for the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, assisted Palchik with in-kind donations including campaign buttons costing $260.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), around $34,000 of Palchik’s campaign funds came from construction or real estate groups.
Besides political consulting, one of Palchik’s largest expenses was a $1,700 food tab at Inca Social for a fundraiser.
Republican Eric Jones only reported one $200 donation to his campaign from Andrew Finlayson, a retired veteran and member of the Republican Party in North Carolina. Jones told Tysons Reporter that he paid for the rest of his campaign expenses out of his own pocket.
So far, he spent $7,880 of the roughly $9,700 going towards his campaign.
Jones did not report any in-kind contributions and reportedly spent money on a P.O. box in Merrifield, political consulting and signage, among similar things.
Dranesville District Supervisor Race
This year, Democrat John Foust received $81,000 in monetary campaign contributions, according to campaign finance reports.
About $20,000 came from lawyers, according to VPAP.
Foust’s biggest donors so far include Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, who donated $5,500, and several McLean couples.
Wedding designer and decorator Prabha Bhambri, while Inder Jit Bhambri donated $4,000.
Karen DuVal, who owned a McLean property connected to the War of 1812 and the Civil War, donated $3,500.
He also received $3,000 from Felipe Rodriquez, the CEO of Sterling-based Aeronautical Systems.
Back in September, Foust spent about $1,200 on photoshoot expenses and about $2,300 on the production and design of walk cards.
Meanwhile, Republican Ed Martin — who has missed campaign finance deadlines — told Tysons Reporter that he’s raised about $3,000.
Two campaign finance reports covering April to the end of August say he didn’t raise or spend anything. A new campaign finance report, which was filed yesterday, says that he received $50 in September.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this story.
With just a few hours left in polling, Tysons-area polls have shown a slow but steady increase in voting throughout the day, particularly in Hunter Mill.
Competitive primaries are underway for the Democratic endorsement for the Providence District, Hunter Mill District, and chairman seats on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The voter turnout so far in the Providence District is 6.29 percent. The Hunter Mill District, which includes Vienna, is 7.3 percent and is the highest of any district in Fairfax. The Fairfax County average turnout is 5.36 percent.
This year’s primary, particularly the race for the chariman’s seat, has been particularly divisive. One candidate faced an ethics complaint filed by a rival while the Washington Post endorsement raised concerns about sexism.
It’s also been an expensive primary. Every candidate for the Democratic nomination to the chair position has raised over $100,000, with developer Tim Chapman raising $952,109 — mostly through funds Chapman gave to his own campaign. In Hunter Mill, candidate Maggie Parker sits at $258,225 fundraised, in large part with support from Comstock Companies. Two Providence candidates — Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner and Dalia Palchik — neared the $100,000 fundraising mark
If you’re a Fairfax County voter you have a chance to choose the next Chair of your County Board, some new supervisors & new school board members, and also choose between incumbents for Commonwealth’s Attorney, State Senate and State House or their challengers. Just Vote! pic.twitter.com/AA9rFVAgeA
— Mark L. Keam (@MarkKeam) June 11, 2019
At Bonnie Brae polling place. Super weather for Primary Vote today. pic.twitter.com/u7YOMS2Qif
— Sharon Bulova (@SharonBulova) June 11, 2019
The Democratic candidates for the Board of Supervisors are:
Board of Supervisors chair:
Hunter Mill District:
Tysons-area voters will also determine the Democratic nominees for two Virginia Senate seats and the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
The polls are now open until 7 p.m. for today's primary election. While it's a Democratic primary, every registered voter can participate because in Virginia you don't register to vote by political party. #vote #votejune11 pic.twitter.com/b93Vqw9fPm
— Fairfax County Votes (@fairfaxvotes) June 11, 2019
Updated at 5:15 p.m. on 6/13/19 — Corrects the description of the Jefferson Village Association.
As the Fairfax County Democratic Primary winds toward the election next Tuesday (June 11), the fundraising race closes in for some but leaves others in the dust.
Edythe Kelleher, a former member of the Vienna Town Council, led fundraising in April and May with $41,849. Edythe and her husband Gary Kelleher are the leading contributors to the campaign, contributing $10,000 and $20,000, respectively.
Other backers that might be familiar to attentive readers include JDA Custom Homes, a homebuilder based in Vienna, and Douglas D’Alexander, the developer behind the planned redevelopment of the former Marco Polo lot destroyed by arson.
Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, a planning commissioner representing the Providence District, had previously led the candidates in fundraising. In April and May, Niedzielski-Eichner raised $35,168. Records show Jonathan Cherner, a principal at the Cherner Development Group, and Mark Lowham, CEO of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, each donated $5,000 to Niedzielski-Eichner.
Dalia Palchik, a School Board member representing the Providence District, wasn’t far behind Niedzielski-Eichner with $31,547 raised. Palchik’s leading backer was the Jefferson Village Association LP — real estate developers in Bethesda, Md. — which donated $15,000.
The first and last candidates to announce in the race both trailed behind the others. Linh Hoang didn’t enter the race until March, and in April and May, Hoang raised $18,514. Hoang’s top contributor was a person named Emily Woo, who donated $5,000.
Erika Yalowitz was the first candidate to announce in the race, but was the last in fundraising for April and May. Yalowitz’ top backer was Timothy Chapman, a candidate in the contentious Board of Supervisors chair race, who donated $5,000.
Photo via Dalia Palchik/Twitter
Since July, the Virginia Department of Elections reports that the candidates have raised:
- Dalia Palchik: $92,041
- Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner: $59,700
- Erika Yalowitz: $35,718
- Edythe Kelleher: $33,609
- Linh Hoang: $15,941
While the campaign finance reports would show Palchik with a substantial fundraising lead, according to the report a $39,450 contribution was made on Jan. 15 from the “Friends of Dalia Palchik” campaign committee.
“As with some other races, I transferred funds I was raising under my prior account to my new account for Supervisor,” Palchik wrote in an email. “This was done after consultation with the Board of Elections as to the best way file my records. Therefore, all funds for my campaign are now under the new account, but the transfer reflects all of my funds raised to date, including those raised prior to Jan 15.”
If the funds shuffled from one campaign committee to another are excluded, Palchik’s fundraising total would be $52,591 — putting her in second place behind Niedzielski-Eichner.
The reports also show campaign contributions from several prominent local Democrats. On Dec. 21, Niedzielski-Eichner received an early Christmas gift from the ‘Friends of Linda Smyth’ — the campaign fund for outgoing Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth — in the form of a $23,325 contribution.
Palchik has also raked in funding from other Democrats, though, like a $500 contribution from outgoing County Board Chair Sharon Bulova’s election campaign on March 11. Palchik also received funding from Alexandria City Councilman Canek Aguirre.
Kelleher received $500 in support from Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross. Nearly two-thirds of Kelleher’s fundraising total — $20,000 of the $33,609 total — is from Kelleher.
No incumbent members of the Board of Supervisors show up in Yalowitz’s fundraising tally, but there is a $650 contribution from the local PAC Brass Ovaries and a $200 contribution from former lieutenant governor candidate Gene Rossi, who has recently raised the topic of running for office again in the wake of the scandals in Richmond. Yalowitz has also spent a total of $5,502 on her own campaign.
Hoang trails the other candidates in fundraising. Hoang entered the race late, and “Friends of Linh Hoang” doesn’t report any contributions prior to March 26.
The primary will be held on June 11.
In the era of #MeToo, with advocates seeking to increase the representation of women in positions of power, one local PAC is taking the next step and working to support women running for office.
The Brass Ovaries PAC, founded by Democratic activist Gail Gordon Donegan, is raising money for first-time, female candidates. The PAC is launching with a kick-off fundraiser tomorrow (Friday) evening from 7-10 p.m.
The event will be held in Vienna, with the exact address — a private residence — provided on confirmation at the event’s website.
There’s a variety of donation levels, all of which come with thematic titles.
- $500 – Co-Host
- $300 – Optimal Ovary
- $200 – Vaginal Victor
- $100 – Fallopian Fellow
- $50 – Utopian Uterus
- $25 – Badass
The event will act as a meet and greet for a variety of local candidates, from town and city councils to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Loudoun Chair Phyllis Randall, Del. Jennifer Boysko, Del. Mark Keam, state Sen. Chap Petersen, and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol are all scheduled to attend as well.
The PAC does not currently endorse candidates, instead focusing on providing seed money for women running for office. How much is distributed is dependent on how much the event raises.
Image via Brass Ovaries PAC