Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, BearingDrift.com by Brian Schoeneman
When it comes to handicapping challenger races, fundraising numbers are critically important. Not only do they give you an idea of whether a candidate is credible, they also give you an idea about how well their campaign is going and how much traction they are gaining.
If fundraising is any indication, John Foust (D-Dranesville) is in trouble.
According to the latest VPAP report, Republican candidate Jennifer Chronis is running circles around incumbent Supervisor John Foust. Despite Foust’s just coming off a multi-million dollar fundraising effort that garnered him only 40% of the vote in the 10th Congressional District election last year, Foust has been unable to capitalize on his name ID and thicker rolodex to finance his reelection efforts. In the last reporting period, he only raised $48,000, including $500 from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, while spending nearly $43,000. That is a significant burn rate, and leaves him with only $38,000 cash on hand, not including $85,000 in loan debt (to himself) from his 2007 campaign.
Chronis, on the other hand, has $78,000 cash on hand and has raised over $104,000 in the 15 weeks since she got into this campaign. That total is only $25,000 less than the total amount of money Foust has raised over the last 4 years for his Supervisor campaign – $129,000. Chronis’s are impressive given that she has given herself no loans and she has almost no in-kind donations. And while the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce gave to Foust, a review of the donors to the Chronis campaign includes a significant number of business leaders in the County. This raises questions as to why the Chamber would endorse without interviews, especially in a race where the incumbent has a record of a number of anti-business votes.
With Dranesville being the richest magisterial district in one of the richest counties in America, it is surprising that an incumbent who just ran for Congress is not posting better numbers than this in his third reelection bid. Granted, Foust has sufficient resources to self-fund if he wants to, but nobody wants to do that, especially not an established candidate who should have access to donors and a campaign infrastructure that has had eight years to mature. That his numbers still lag despite knowing he has a top-tier opponent is either arrogance or laziness. Regardless, he will need to start working much harder if he wants to retain his seat.
Chronis, on the other hand, appears to be the hardest working candidate in Fairfax County right now. For the second quarter of 2015, Jennifer Chronis has outraised every Republican candidate in Fairfax except Pat Herrity – even more than incumbent Supervisor John Cook. And, excluding loans, she raised as much or more than every Democrat running for Supervisor in the County, including all of the incumbents. She’s also raised more by herself than both candidates in the open seat race in Sully raised combined.
If Jennifer Chronis can keep this momentum up, she’s on pace to be the second Republican woman to defeat John Foust in two years.