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April 29, 2022

Two Prince William supervisors report strong fundraising quarters in congressional bids

While there’s no formal polling, two Prince William County supervisors have emerged as the money front-runners in Republican primaries in Virginia’s 7th and 10th congressional districts.

Candidates in each district’s crowded primary battle submitted their first campaign finance reports of 2022 with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month.

In the 7th, Coles Supervisor Yesli Vega of Prince William County led candidates in fundraising, while in the 10th, Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson added to the biggest campaign coffer among Republicans.

10th District

In the 10th District -- which now includes Fauquier County -- Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Loudoun County is also seeking re-election.

The district was reconfigured, albeit less drastically than the 7th. The new 10th spans Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier and Rappahannock counties and portions of Fairfax County, Manassas City and Manassas Park.

The April fundraising report will be the only one for Republicans in the district before a nominee is selected. The party will use a firehouse primary to select a candidate in the 12-way race on May 21.

Supervisor Lawson was a close second in fundraising with $308,165. She spent the most in the reporting period with $136,068 and has a substantial lead on all other candidates with $545,734 in her campaign coffers at the end of March.

“I am humbled by the support that I’ve received from thousands of grassroots activists and donors who are fired up to take back our district,” Lawson said. “I believe that my campaign has demonstrated that we have what it takes to defeat Jennifer Wexton, and I’m ready to turn my attention to doing exactly that this November.”

While no formal polling has been conducted for the primary, Republicans released results from a straw poll held last week after a candidates forum.

Lawson was unable to attend the forum because the Board of Supervisors was discussing the fiscal 2023 budget. However, she still received 3.5%, besting five other candidates.

The straw poll showed Loudoun County businessman Caleb Max with 33% support among those polled.

Max is the grandson of former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who held the 10th district seat for 34 years and was its last Republican representative.

However, Max was far behind other Republicans in fundraising with only $58,201 in the reporting period. He spent $51,971 and has $149,104 remaining.

Retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao led the fundraising numbers with $314,316 in donations. In the informal poll, he was third with 18%.

Cao spent $90,604 and has $223,711 remaining, the second-most among Republicans.

Loudoun County parent Brandon Michon came second in the straw poll with 27%. He reported $235,200 raised, $65,622 spent and $205,577 remaining.

Former Air Force legislative liaison John Henley was fourth in polling at 5%. He reported $25,972 raised in the reporting period. He spent $43,474 and has $4,498 remaining.

Former intelligence worker David Beckwith was fifth in the poll at 4%. He raised $29,141, spent $15,081 and had $34,060 remaining.

Loudoun County businessman Mike Clancy tied Lawson in sixth with 3.5%. He raised $64,036, spent $74085 and had $286,128 remaining.

Manassas City Councilor Theresa Coates Ellis was seventh in polling at 2.5%. She had the lowest fundraising totals among candidates at $4,775. She spent $23,153 and has $16,077 remaining.

Loudoun County School Board member John Beatty received 2% in the poll. He raised $15,175, spent $11,934 and had $9,378 remaining.

Former defense subcontractor Brooke Taylor received 1% in the poll. She reported $43,800 in donations, spent $7,694 and has $50,605 remaining.

Prince William County business owner Jeff Mayhugh received 0.5% in the poll, but did not report any fundraising in the first quarter.

Army veteran Paul Lott Sr. of Gainesville is also seeking the party nomination but did not report any fundraising in the first quarter and was not part of the poll after Tuesday’s forum.

Wexton outraised all Republicans with $488,378 in the reporting period and spent $171,927.

Wexton has about $3.03 million remaining in her campaign coffers, which is nearly twice as much money as all the Republicans combined.

Dr. Shadi Ayyas of Purcellville had announced plans to challenge Wexton for the Democratic nomination but has since withdrawn from the race.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and The Cook Political Report rated the 10th District race as solidly favoring Democrats.

The 11 candidates competing for the GOP nomination in Virginia's 10th District are (click the names to visit their respective campaign websites):

-John Beatty
-Dave Beckwith
-Hung Cao
-Mike Clancy
-Theresa Coates Ellis
-John Henley
-Jeanine Lawson
-Caleb Max
-Jeff Mayhugh
-Brandon Michon
-Brooke Taylor

7th District

Democratic U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger is hoping to keep her seat after redistricting moved the 7th District from a swath of central Virginia west of Richmond to Northern Virginia.

The new district now covers eastern Prince William, the city of Fredericksburg and all of King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Carolina, Culpeper, Orange, Greene and Madison counties.

Seven Republicans have lined up seeking the party’s nomination in the June 21 primary.

Vega topped the candidates list in fundraising in the reporting period, which covered Jan. 1 to March 31. She reported $356,810 in donations, spent $62,813 and had $293,997 remaining.

Vega has received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

“We are blessed to have such an incredible network of support backing our campaign to represent Virginia’s 7th Congressional District,” Vega said in a statement. “Our campaign’s first quarter fundraising total clearly shows that Team Vega has the momentum and we are well on our way to being the Republican nominee this June.”

State Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, raised the second-most at $268,924. He spent the most of any candidate at $103,229 and had the second-most remaining cash at $390,407.

Stafford County Board Chair Crystal Vaunch had the most money on hand of the candidates at $468,091. However, she only raised $83,588 and lended her campaign $400,000. Vaunch spent $15,497 in the reporting period.

Spotsylvania County attorney Derrick Anderson raised the third most of the candidates at $231,834. He spent the second most at $72,841 and had $371,281 remaining at the end of the reporting period.

“My campaign is proving that we have the organization, resources, and strength to win the GOP nomination and be well-positioned to take on Abigail Spanbeger in the general election,” Anderson said in a news release. “[Donors] know that the failed policies of Washington liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Abigail Spanberger are leading us down a path of no return if we do not win back the House in November.”

Spotsylvania Supervisor David Ross raised $44,472 in the reporting period. He spent $21,401 and had $121,270 remaining.

Gina Ciarcia, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2nd District in the House of Delegates in 2021, raised $32,950. She spent $19,872 and has $13,478 remaining.

Air Force veteran Gary Adkins did not report any money raised or spent during the first quarter.

While Vega had the most donations of any Republican, she vastly trailed the incumbent Spanberger.

Spanberger reported about $1.05 million raised. She spent $269,653 and has more than $3.8 million in her campaign war chest.

Spanberger lives in Henrico County, just outside Richmond, and the reconfigured districts put her home in the 1st District, represented by Republican Rob Wittman. However, congressional representatives are not required to live in their district, and Spanberger is running for re-election in the 7th District.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics rated the 7th District race as leaning Democratic. However, The Cook Political Report rated the race as a toss-up.

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