Powerful Northern Virginia developers and businessmen and national special interest groups have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the reelection campaigns of Northern Virginia's two incumbent Republican congressmen, whose races are widely viewed as tests of President Reagan's popularity.
Reps. Frank R. Wolf and Stanford E. Parris, who represent Virginia's 8th and 10th districts respectively, have each received $1,000 from former Republican representative Joel T. Broyhill, who eight years ago lost the 10th District seat to Democrat Joseph L. Fisher.
Wolf and Parris also reported contributions from several developers, including Ralph D. Rocks, who was convicted of bribing a Prince George's County commissioner and served an eight-month prison term in the mid-l970s.
Others who gave $1,000 each to Parris, who has raised nearly $180,000 since January 1981 when he took office after ousting his present challenger, Democrat Herbert E. Harris II, include former state highway commissioner William B. Wrench; Fairfax lawyer-developer John T. Hazel Jr.; Hazel's wife, Virginia Hazel; his secretary, M. Charlotte Garner, and Giuseppe Cecchi, the area's biggest condominium developer.
Cecchi, who has strong ties to Virginia's Democratic Gov. Charles S. Robb and is a former Harris supporter, said he was supporting Parris this year. "Things change and right now my tendency is to support the Reagan administration and its economic programs," he said. "I think Stan Parris is more interested in the problems of the building industry than his opponent."
Wolf, who has raised $104,000--quadruple the amount reported by his most visible Democratic rival, lawyer Ira Lechner--reports contributions from the following sources: $1,000 each from J. William Middendorf, ambassador to the Organization of American States, and Arlington real estate developer George Shafran, and $500 each from Milton L. Drewer Jr., president of First American Bank, and Robert A. Peck, owner of Bob Peck Chevrolet in Arlington.
Corporate political action committees (PACs) established by businesses ranging from Hughes Aircraft to the National Cattleman's Association have made substantial contributions to both incumbents while union committees established by the machinists and treasury employes have contributed to Democratic challengers Harris and Lechner.
So far, seven months before the election, Parris has raised more than $70,000 in PAC contributions while Wolf reports receiving nearly $46,000. Lechner, who says he began soliciting funds last month, has raised nearly $14,000 in PAC contributions, while Harris has raised slightly more than $5,000.
"What's happening in Virginia is going to happen across the country and in some cases we expect to be outspent 10 to l," said Evan Zeppos, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Zeppos said his committee expects to spend about $6 million to help 80 Senate and House candidates, as compared to $37 million set aside by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In an attempt to overcome that disparity, Lechner says he plans to hold national fund-raisers in several cities outside Virginia and to solicit money from many of the corporate PACs liberal Democrats have traditionally eschewed.
"It's a difference in style," said Lechner. "Joe Fisher just wasn't the kind of person to knock on people's doors and ask for money. I'm not an incumbent and I'm not on Ways and Means the powerful congressional committee and I have to."
"I have no intention of saying to Frank Wolf, 'I give up on all business PACs,' " said Lechner, who says he will not accept money from the oil, gas or chemical industries."
Later this year, Lechner says he hopes to raise about $50,000 through a series of cocktail party fund-raisers in Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, cities with large populations of Democrats.