Whitbeck Leads Fundraising with Out-of-Town Big Donors

With the deadline for reporting campaign fundraising from January through March 2019 passed, campaign finance reports show former Republican Party of Virginia Chairman and Leesburg attorney John Whitbeck far outraising all other candidates for county Board of Supervisors, buoyed by big donors from outside Loudoun.

Whitbeck attracted donations averaging more than $1,000, and brought in more than $200,000, almost half of which came from outside Loudoun.

Campaign finance reports listed 159 donations averaging $1,263. The four largest contributors gave $25,000 each, including FCi Federal founder Sharon Virts; Holtzman Oil Corp. owner William Holtzman of Mt. Jackson, Virginia near New Market; Leesburg-based political action committee Loudoun First and Alexandria-based political action committee Conservatives for Effective Government. Former White House Chief of Staff and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also donated $1,000.

Of Whitbeck’s 121 unique donors giving more than $100, 38 did not list a home or work address in Loudoun. Those donors contributed $101,925—nearly half of the Whitbeck campaign’s donations in the first quarter of 2019. In total, the campaign saw $210,021 in donations. Donations amounting to $100 or less are not individually reported.

Whitbeck has also loaned his own campaign $33,100. Combined with $9,248 of in-kind services, including $1,600 in web services and office space from Whitbeck’s own law firm, the campaign raised $243,1201 in the last quarter, reporting a balance of $211,665.

According to the Whitbeck campaign, that breaks the record for most cash on hand by any candidate for Loudoun County chairman and out-raises even candidates for the state legislature.

“The people of Loudoun are ready for a Chair with a clear vision for fighting traffic and tolls, school safety, low taxes, strategic growth, and preservation,” Whitbeck stated. “I will continue to work tirelessly to earn the trust of Loudoun’s voters.” His campaign manager, Tyler Spencer, said the campaign has seen “grassroots support.”

Even without out-of-town fundraising, Whitbeck led the pack on fundraising totals. Whitbeck’s target, incumbent Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) raised $32,484 from 160 contributions, ending with $72,292. That puts her average contribution at $203.

In response to Whitbeck’s fundraising, the Loudoun County Democratic Committee on Wednesday announced the “Blue Loudoun Defense Fund” “to help push back against the flood of GOP money coming into Loudoun.”

 

Algonkian

Incumbent Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian) attracted 241 donations, bringing in $40,142 and ending the reporting period with $161,813 in the bank. Her challenger, Juli Ellyn Briskman (D), reported 344 donations—292 of which were less than $100—and raised $24,563, ending with $38,187.

Ashburn

Ashburn District Republican candidate Rich McMunn raised $7,050 from nine donations, including a $5,000 loan to his own campaign, ending the reporting period with $4,826. McMunn announced his entry into the race in March, the last month of the reporting period.

His opponent, Democrat Mike Turner, raised $7,962 from 25 donations and loaned his campaign a net of $3,761. He reported $38,397 cash on hand.

Blue Ridge

Incumbent Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) raised $47,280 from only 68 donations, an average contribution of $695. His campaign ended the quarter with $42,210 on hand.

His challenger, Democrat Tia Walbridge, brought in $28,094 from 285 donations, an average of $99, finishing with $49,676 cash on hand.

The campaign said those numbers show Blue Ridge is “the race to watch.”

“It’s clear that western Loudoun is ready for a thoughtful, proactive leader who works hard, sticks to her principles, and stands up for residents’ interests even when no one is watching,” Walbridge stated. “They want a leader they can trust to preserve the balance that makes our county such a special place to call home.”

Buffington’s primary challenger, Florian Hauswiesner, reported $1,081 in fundraising, all in the form of in-kind donations from his own law firm. Those were reported on March 16. The campaign has no reported money.

Broad Run

Broad Run Republican candidate and former Loudoun County Republican Committee James G. Bonfils reported $7,425 raised from 18 contributions. That includes eight cash contributions totaling $6,575, four of which were from Bonfils himself for a total of $5,275 given to his own campaign. Bonfils’s first contributions were in March.

His opponent, Democrat Sylvia Glass, reported $12,442 in fundraising, including $8,442 from 96 donations, 64 of which were $100 or less, and a $4,000 loan to her own campaign. Her campaign closed the quarter with $14,216 on hand.

Catoctin

Catoctin District Republic candidate Caleb A. Kershner brought in $7,230, including $4,230 from 11 donations and a $3,000 loan to his own campaign, and finished the quarter with $7,159 in the bank. His first contributions were in March.

The Democrat, Forest Hayes, raised $25,104 from 72 donations, although 27 of those donations were Hayes or his wife making donations totaling $1,960. Another three are campaign manager Ahmad Shawwal donating one dollar each time. Hayes reported 39 unique donors.

The independent candidate, Sam Kroiz, only started his campaign near the end of March. He raised $2,057 from two donations and a $2,000 loan to his own campaign, ending the quarter with $2,035.

Dulles

Incumbent Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) brought in $13,724 from 46 donations, ending the quarter with $27,874 on hand. One person, Sreedhar NagiReddi, has filed paperwork to run against him but has reported no fundraising.

Leesburg

Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) so far faces no challengers for her seat on the county Board of Supervisors. Nonetheless, her campaign committee reported $5,000 raised from three donations, with $11,262 on hand.

Sterling

 Incumbent Supervisor Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) raised $16,859 from 65 donations, ending the quarter with $16,772 on hand. His primary challenger, Ibrahim Moiz, raised $53,228 from 60 donations, although one of those was a $38,567 transfer to zero out his now-shuttered campaign for School Board. He finished the quarter with $49,310 on hand.

One Republican, Stephen Grant, has filed paperwork to run, but has reported no fundraising.

Republicans generally saw fewer donors, but those donors gave much more money.

Many candidates also saw low numbers at least in part because they began fundraising partway through the quarterly reporting period, putting them at a disadvantage to other candidates who had already begun campaigning and entered the new year with established cash on hand.

Democrats in the area count among their supporters Joan Kowalski, owner and co-founder of the Bob Ross Company in Sterling. Kowalski was Ross’s longtime business partner and instrumental in bringing the iconic painter and host of The Joy of Painting to television. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, she has donated $47,665 to Democratic campaigns ranging from Ralph Northam’s run for governor—to which she contributed $13,500—to campaigns for the local Board of Supervisors and the Leesburg Town Council.

The finance reports also highlight some confusion among campaign staff about the state’s campaign finance reporting rules. In tallying their totals, some campaigns are reporting the total number of contributions; others are reporting the total number of unique contributors, who may have made more than one donation. The state Board of Election’s instructions direct campaigns to “enter the total number of contributors itemized… and the total dollar amount of itemized contributions received this period.”

The state does not require candidates to itemize contributions from donors who have given less than $100 cumulatively, instead reporting those donations as a lump sum.

rgreene@loudounnow.com

8 thoughts on “Whitbeck Leads Fundraising with Out-of-Town Big Donors

  • 2019-04-17 at 5:10 pm
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    It is not “grassroots” when donations (which anyone can see by reviewing the VPAP data) to both party affiliated candidates for Chair of the BOS comes from self identified developers, real estate firms, construction firms and wealthy land owners. I choose to rely on voter choice for the best candidate and not money paid BASED ON AN EXPECTED RETURN ON INVESTMENT. High density residential development is forcing Loudoun to have a property tax rate 33% higher than the state average on top of 4.2% of vehicle value and other absurd taxes like the inspection fee (no sticker) and now a license plate fee. I am the only candidate for Chair that openly promises to reduce property tax rates well below $1 per $100. I will push to eliminate all personal property taxes on vehicles, mandate better management of the LCPS budget, force favored entities like the Greenway, HHMI, Hospitals and others to pay their fair share, dramatically lower tax on small unbuilt lots, eliminate zoning restrictions on what amount of land comprises a farm and dramatically increase public funding for non-profit charities that support the working poor, near homeless and homeless in Loudoun. I have been an elected official in both parties and understand their postures unlike John or Phyllis who are deep into their own party politic. For local actions like fixing Route 15 north of Leesburg, insuring mental health support is viable in Loudoun, controlling the school system cash burn, fixing the assessment system etc. this is a misplaced loyalty. Neighborhoods are struggling with traffic, economics, unfair tax policies and an inefficient school system while each party gets side-tracked with who loves Trump/Northam and who hates Trump/Northam! Loudoun deserves the full time and qualified focus of the Chair of the BOS not agents for residential builders!

  • 2019-04-17 at 9:51 pm
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    Loudoun Now buried the lead. John Whitbeck apparently received money from a PAC whose donor base is a complete mystery. Loudoun Now should spend some time looking into who is donating to Conservatives for Effective Government. I have looked, I can’t find any reporting from Virginia Board of Elections or the FEC. They’re FEC Committee ID is C00574749. Even though the treasurer is located in Alexandria, in 2016 most of the money came from Florida and Tennessee. That PAC hasn’t filed any reports with the FEC yet for 2019. Loudoun residents should care who is trying to buy the Board of Supervisors.

  • 2019-04-19 at 11:00 am
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    John is the best suited candidate to defeat Randall, that’s paramount. I do not agree with him all the time but I do agree with him more then Randall a plus! It is a good sign that so many are willing to donate to Whitbeck whether you can follow the paper trail or not. Voting record is the reason John is squishing his elected opponent at the present.

  • 2019-04-19 at 7:33 pm
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    Norges53, Do you think John will be another stooge-type, BoS member, controlled by the developers and their local land use lawyers (Higgins/Minchew)? What will he do differently and where is his funding really coming from? I don’t see how and why we should continue to fund the lavish lifestyle of the developers while they build upon and pave over the county? Should Rte. 15 become a 4 lane road from Leesburg to Point of Rocks?

  • 2019-04-23 at 11:00 am
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    As a resident of Lansdowne, I recall Mr. Whitbeck’s tenure as leader of the HOA where he unfailingly supported Hobie Mitchell’s enterprise called Open Band. You remember OpenBand, the telecom entity that shamelessly engaged in a systematic rip off of the homeowners in Lansdowne and Southern Walk? Mr. Whitbeck supported OpenBand to the detriment of the residents of Lansdowne whose interests he was supposed t be representing. I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my lifetime but I wouldn’t support Whitbeck for dogcatcher.

  • 2019-04-25 at 8:34 am
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    LOCO Wonders – Bringing reality and facts into an article. Novel idea. How about asking how the full time job of being Chair of the now $3.2 Billion plus yearly budgeted county is to be done by the owner and lead litigator of a law firm. Did he offer to give it up for the job or is that part of the motivation for running to win? How about stating which charities either John or Phyllis volunteered for over the last two decades? How about asking how Phyllis lost her election for Supervisor of thee area she lived in and lost the election for school board in the area she lived in prior to winning in a three way election where she got less votes than I did when running for Commonwealth Attorney. Finally, the article implies there is only two candidates for Chair of the Board of Supervisors with the thresh hold issue on how much money was raised. I chose not to collect a debt from constituents or party influencers but rather to offer to serve the community if they want a serious county focused chair. How could this article be written journalistically if some candidates are ignored? Please express complements to the editor if this is published.

  • 2019-04-26 at 7:10 am
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    Direct from Randall’s page and because New Yorkers do such a good job in ruining their state
    “Secondly, would you kindly Facebook message me or email me at &%^lass@msn.com – your campaign manager and your website, phone banking information so I can forward it to Ricky at NY Empire so we can get help for you with your campaigning. Also who is running against you — the Republican. Please let me know ASAP and thank you!”
    Mind you this is from a week ago and this outside rabble does not know about Whitbeck or Ohneiser.

  • 2019-04-27 at 9:28 pm
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    Bob, Loco Wonders is correct. In fact, both Chair candidates from the parties are from Lansdowne and I don’t think either are loved here.

    But without rank order voting, how can one expect an independent to win? I believe you would bring more accountability to the BOS. But let’s be honest, what exactly is the part to a non-R and non-D winning? I wish all our elections had rank order voting. Until they do, it seems like the citizens who vote for the independent are just helping their partisan side lose.

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