Developers pack the list of top Fairfax County contributors to this year's Virginia gubernatorial race, with real estate interests handing out big bucks to all three candidates, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.
Republican Jerry W. Kilgore, who has promised to widen the stretch of Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway and has vowed to oppose measures to restrict growth in other parts of Northern Virginia that are anathema to the big-biz crowd, has compiled a donors list that reads like a who's who of the county's economic development heavy hitters.
In July, Kilgore benefited from a fundraiser held by home builder Dwight C. Schar at his McLean estate and starring President Bush. In this election cycle, Schar, chairman of Reston-based NVR Inc., has contributed $83,007 to Kilgore, including a $27,007 in-kind contribution for catering the Bush event.
Milton V. Peterson, chairman of Fair Lakes-based Peterson Cos., which is now building the mixed-use National Harbor project across the Potomac River in Prince George's County, deposited $30,000 in Kilgore's coffers. Other big contributors from the Fairfax development community include Pence-Friedel Developers Inc., owner of the Dulles Expo and Conference Center, which gave $30,000 to the Kilgore cause; McLean-based real estate investment firm J.E. Robert Cos., which chipped in $25,000; and the Chantilly-based Virginia chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors, which gave $10,000.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave $100,000 to Kilgore.
Democratic candidate Timothy M. Kaine has received slightly less largess from Fairfax's real estate barons, but he has gotten some financial assistance from influential friends in development.
Earlier this month, Albert J. Dwoskin, chief executive of Fairfax-based shopping center developer A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc., hosted a Kaine fundraiser at his home, headlined by former president Bill Clinton. In this election cycle, Dwoskin's contributions to Kaine total $36,000. Gerald T. Halpin and John C. Ulfelder of McLean-based real estate development firm West Group have donated $85,000 and $31,000 to Kaine, respectively, since 2002.
Executives with Sunrise Senior Living Inc. of McLean also put their money behind Kaine, with chief executive Paul J. Klaassen and President Thomas B. Newell giving $25,801 and $25,000, respectively.
Independent candidate H. Russell Potts Jr. received $142,000 from lawyer John T. "Til" Hazel Jr., who is often described as the father of Tysons Corner.
Fairfax County's powerful government contracting sector seems to have largely ignored the gubernatorial contest, but there are a few exceptions. CGI-AMS Inc., the Canadian-owned management consulting firm with a sizable Fairfax campus, contributed $30,000 to Kaine and $15,000 to Kilgore.
CGI-AMS is currently negotiating with the state of Virginia to manage sizable chunks of its information technology software, a deal potentially worth more than $1 billion.
McLean-based credit card giant Capital One also has hedged its bets, doling out $25,000 to Kilgore this election cycle and $19,750 to Kaine.
Verizon Communications Inc., which has raised a ruckus in many Fairfax County neighborhoods with the installation of its new Fios network, has given $55,000 to Kilgore this election cycle and has made many smaller contributions to Fairfax County candidates in General Assembly races.
America's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., also hasn't forgotten about off-year elections in the commonwealth. The company contributed $2,500 to Kilgore. Though statewide Wal-Mart gave almost 80 percent of its contributions to Republicans, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company gave primarily to Democratic incumbents in the Fairfax County House of Delegates races: Brian J. Moran (Alexandria) received $2,000; Mark D. Sickles (Fairfax), $1,000; Adam P. Ebbin (Alexandria), $500; Stephen C. Shannon (Fairfax) and James M. Scott (Fairfax), $250 each. Republican delegate Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (Fairfax) received $1,000 from the retailer, and fellow Republican David B. Albo (Fairfax), $1,250.
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