Virginia: Outside Groups Play in House Primary

Posted June 4, 2008 at 6:16pm

With less than a week to go before Virginia’s primary election, independent expenditures are starting to fly in the 11th district primary race between former Rep. Leslie Byrne (D) and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D).

EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion-rights group that endorsed Byrne in the fall, has been by far the most prolific spender in the race, dropping close to $130,000 in independent expenditures on the race this year, including about $65,000 for campaign mailings in the past week.

But Connolly isn’t without independent expenditure support of his own.

The International Association of Firefighters Interested in Registration and Education political action committee has dropped about $16,000 on the race in the past week for robocalls and direct mail. And late last week, the PAC for the Service Employees International Union dropped about $15,000 for phone banks to support Connolly.

On its Federal Election Commission report, the SEIU said it was supporting “Gary” Connolly.

— John McArdle