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Virginia Politics
Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 09/20/2012

Cost of running for Alexandria, Arlington offices adds up

On a day when Virginia’s political attention was turned to the debate between candidates for the U.S. Senate, the cost of running campaigns for local offices in Northern Virginia became increasingly clear.


Libby T. Garvey (n/a - Courtesy: Libby T. Garvey)
The campaign contributions through the end of August in the Arlington County Board race between Democrat Libby Garvey, Republican Matt Wavro and Green Audrey Clement broke down pretty much as you might suspect: Garvey, who joined the board after winning a special election March 27, pulled in 10 times the contributions of Wavro or Clement.

The latest numbers from the Virginia Public Access Project show that Garvey received $45,449 in cash contributions through Aug. 31. Wavro followed with $4,345, and Clement raised $3,966.

Garvey was particularly aided by a $20,000 in-kind contribution for direct mail from the state Democratic Party in the spring. In her most notable decision while she’s been on the Board, she abstained from voting on the Columbia Pike streetcar proposal July 24, saying that she hadn’t had time to properly study the choices. By Sept. 4, she told the Arlington County Civic Federation that buses would be better than streetcars in moving people along the pike, according to the Sun-Gazette newspaper.

Wavro received $500 from the Republican Party and $1,780 came from donations of less than $100.

Clement, on her third run for the County Board in the past year, has largely been self-funded. Her other major donor is James Hurysz, who frequently speaks before the board on a variety of issues.

After the jump, we look at the races for City Council and mayor in Alexandria, which for the first time will be holding its local elections in November, rather than in the spring.


Alexandria City Council candidate signs line up outside Hammond Middle School at the first debate Sept. 12. (Patricia Sullivan - The Washington Post)

Alexandria Mayor William D. “Bill” Euille, a Democrat who’s held that office for the past nine years, is facing a stiff fundraising challenge from independent Andrew Macdonald, who is a former vice mayor of the city and who led the opposition to the city’s waterfront plan last year.

Since there was no primary for the seat, we’ll look at complete campaign funds through Aug. 31. Euille held the lead with $31,255. His biggest donations, all $1,000 or more, came from attorney Mark C. Williams, Alexandria Yellow Cab, Critical Response Manufacturing Inc., investment banker Robert H. Dugger III, developer Myron Erkiletian, and retiree Michael G. Wenk.

Macdonald has raised $21,541 $29,541and more than $8,000 came in contributions of less than $100. His biggest donors are retiree Arra Ann Mazor, attorney Robert Montague III and Jerry B. Warner, of Defense Life Sciences. Many of his donors have addresses in Old Town, and many supporters include those who were anti-waterfront plan activists.

Twelve candidates have qualified for the ballot for the six open positions on the Alexandria City Council. Six are Democrats, three are Republicans, two are Independents, and one is a Libertarian. Four incumbents and two former incumbents are in the mix. It’s probably necessary to add: Money does not equal votes, particularly in local elections.

It’s been a rock-and-roll race for a spot on the dais in Alexandria, from the crowded Democratic primary to the equally crowded general election.

The leading fundraiser, as of Aug. 31, is Republican incumbent Frank H. Fannon IV, with $93,534 in his coffers. He loaned himself $5,000 but still — that’s almost twice as much as the second-highest fundraiser, Democrat Justin Wilson, who collected $47,613, most of it during the primary season.

Democrat Allison Silberberg raised $40,088, Republican Bob Wood raised $37,426, and Timothy Lovain, who was the top vote-getter during the primary, collected $37,309. Democrat John Taylor Chapman raised $37,133.

Three incumbents came next. Democrat Paul Smedberg raised $28,896, Democrat Del Pepper raised $27,498 and Republican Alicia Hughes raised $26,280.

The trailing candidates were independent Glenda Davis, with $1,070 in her account, Libertarian Robert S. Kraus with $1,100 and independent Jermain Mincey with $692. Significant contributions to the last three came from themselves.

By  |  04:28 PM ET, 09/20/2012

 
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