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Scandal in CD 2 Demonstrates Need to Research Candidates


By Josh Stanfield of Activate Virginia

Yesterday, I stumbled across a couple of articles breaking the shocking news of a federal indictment of Shaun Brown, 2016 Democratic candidate in CD 2, and candidate for the Democratic nomination for the same seat in 2018. Brown is being charged with wire fraud and theft of government property.

When I read the Daily Press coverage, a detail stood out:

“[Brown’s] campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission show she’s raised $713,491 as of the end of October, all but $2,750 of which came from her. She said most of that was in the form of stock in her company. The FEC report shows she has no cash on hand in her campaign account.”

We needn’t dwell on this particular scandal. But had anyone checked Brown’s FEC filings, they’d have known immediately that something was off.

Since there’s no party authority explicitly charged with looking into the Congressional candidates – or even ensuring new candidates file the proper documents on time – Democrats should take it upon themselves to make sure their CD candidates have everything in order.

To that effect, we’ve added FEC links (where available) for 2018 candidates across Virginia in the spreadsheet below. Candidates are required to file a Statement of Candidacy within 15 days of becoming a candidate. To simplify a bit, you become a candidate when you’ve raised an aggregate exceeding $5,000 – or spent over $5,000.

So you may have seen or heard candidates who, because of the definition above, aren’t yet candidates for the purpose of filing. The following candidates have not filed a finance report yet:

CD 1: John Suddarth, Vangie Williams
CD 2: Gary Hubbard, Elaine Luria, Ernest Porter
CD 6: Sergio Coppola
CD 7: Helen Alli, Diane Fraser
CD 9: Anthony Flaccavenco, Justin Santopietro
CD 10: Julia Biggins, Paul Pelletier

Not having filed yet isn’t necessarily a problem. But given the scandal in CD 2, we should look into our Congressional candidates, check their filings, and be sure there aren’t any surprises that could emerge after the primaries.

Full disclosure: I’m a member of the 2nd CD Democratic Committee, and I support an open primary as our mode of nomination. I’m not sure when our committee will take that vote, though.



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