The political action committee of Fairfax County's leading business association Monday endorsed two McLean incumbents and one newcomer in the upcoming General Assembly and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors elections.
NOVABizPAC, the political arm of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, made its endorsements "based on the Chamber's published legislative agenda." In other words, whether candidates were considered friendly to the business community, and/or would probably win.
The McLean endorsement winners: Incumbent Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, Democratic. Incumbent Del. Barbara Comstock, Republican. Businesswoman Caren Merrick, who is running for the open 31st State Senate District seat. Incumbent Sen. Janet Howell, Democrat, 32nd District, according to Monday's press release.
The Chamber's PAC also endorsed two Democratic delegates who represent McLean and who are running unopposed: Mark Keam and Jim Scott.
NOVABizPAC made no endorsement in the 48th House District, where incumbent Democrat Bob Brink is running against two independent candidates.
Yes McLean was carved up between four House of Delegate districts when the Republican-majority redistricted in April. (See map with this story.)
What does the endorsement mean?
"The Chamber PAC's endorsement is important to candidates," said Stu Mendelsohn, a former Dranesville supervisor and immediate past president of the Chamber.
"It sends a message to voters that these candidates support issues important to economic vitality," said Mendelsohn, a Republican. "The chamber announces it to all member companies representing hundreds of thousands of employees. The endorsements come with some money but the endorsement is more important than the money."
Erin Munley, spokesman for the Chamber and its PAC, refused to say how much money each candidate would receive. Apparently the amounts vary by candidate.
"Keeping Virginia number one for jobs is our top priority and I appreciate having the strong support of our business community – small and large – as well as our vibrant and innovative technology community," Comstock said.
Merrick: "This is a bipartisan group of business people endorsing candidates of both parties that they believe have the depth of experience and qualifications to advance a job friendly environment."
Foust: "I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to jobs and the economy, Chamber members are concerned about education, transportation, fiscal responsibility and other issues that are important to most of my constituents."
Howell: "I am proud to have the endorsement of this prestigious business organization. I have worked closely with them on many issues of importance to our businesses."
Countywide the Chamber's PAC endorsed:
- 13 House of Delegate candidates – seven Democrats and six Republicans. All incumbents.
- 5 state Senate candidates. Three Democrats. One Republican challenger Jason Flanary, who is running against Democratic incumbent David Marsden of Burke, and Merrick, who is running against Democrat Barbara Favola for an open seat.
Election Day is Nov. 8. All 100 members of the House of Delegates, the 40 members of the state Senate, plus all members of the Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax School Board are at stake.