The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Candidates piling up cash for races; B1

By Garren Shipley
(Daily Staff Writer)

The general election isn’t until November, but the two candidates seeking Virginia’s 10th District seat in the House of Representatives are piling up cash.

Incumbent Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Vienna, is seeking his 14th term in Congress. He’s challenged by Democrat Judy Feder, the dean of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.

Neither candidate has broken the $1 million mark yet, but Wolf is almost in that neighborhood, with more than $700,000 in contributions during this cycle.

Feder has raked in $356,601 in individual contributions during this election cycle, and an additional $21,000 from political action committees.

She’s kicked in an additional $8,000 of her own money as of May 24.

Wolf maintains a substantial cash lead, more than $237,000, along with the overall fundraising advantage. But the two campaigns have been getting their cash from very different sources.

More than $280,000 of Wolf’s money comes from PACs, a key weapon in any federal incumbent’s finance arsenal.

Individual contributions show that there’s support for change in Congress, according to the challenger.

“The continued enthusiasm for my campaign shows that people want change,” Feder said in an e-mail to reporters. “They’re not satisfied with congressmen like Frank Wolf who vote for the President’s agenda 90 percent of the time.”

The Wolf campaign didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

But the 10th District isn’t the only federal race voters will be deciding this year. U.S. Sen. George Allen, the former Republican governor, is seeking a second six-year term of office.
Allen has no primary challenger, but two Democrats are fighting it out to see who will move on to November.

Former technology lobbyist Harris N. Miller, of Fairfax County, is well past the $1.2 million mark on $554,000 in individual contributions and $6,750 from PACs.

The major of Miller’s funding though has come from an old-fashioned source — his own pocket. As of the reporting deadline, Miller had given $675,000 of his own money toward his campaign.

His opponent, Republican-turned-Democrat James H. Webb, a Gate City native and former Reagan administration secretary of the Navy, has banked about $548,000 in total, including a $100,000 loan.

Webb reported more than $412,000 in individual contributions along with $34,700 from PACs.

At the bottom line, Miller held a $570,000 cash advantage over Webb with less than a month to go until the primary.

The winner of Tuesday’s contest will take on Allen, who has banked more than $9.5 million in this election cycle, and had more than $7.5 million on hand at the reporting deadline.

Allen’s effort was organized from the start to run against a “wealth, self-funded” Democrat — fellow Virginia ex-Gov. Mark R. Warner.

But Warner surprised political watchers last year by announcing that he wouldn’t take another shot at the U.S. Senate, fueling speculation that Allen has actually been preparing for a presidential run in 2008.

Warner, who made millions in the cell phone business, ran the “Mark, not John” campaign against Republican Sen. John Warner in 2000, but came up short before his successful gubernatorial run.

Primary Day is Tuesday. The General Election is Nov. 7.