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Albo Spending More Than He is Raising for 09

Tim Craig

Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), who Democrats are targeting for defeat in the 2009 state legislative elections, is already spending money like his race is this year instead of next year.

Albo's campaign finance report for the first half of the year has not yet been logged onto the State Board of Elections website, but in an interview today he said he spent $73,000 from Jan 1. to June 30.

Albo said his report will show he raised $51,728 during the period. But Albo only has $43,710 in the bank, likely accelerating efforts by Democrats to unseat him through a strategy of pouring money into his district.

"I've got a full operation here," said Albo, who represents West Springfield, Lorton and Fairfax Station. "Because of the district I am in, we are running a two-year campaign. We hired a campaign manager back in August a year ago."

Albo, who was the luckiest politician in Virginia last year because he ran unopposed, represents an increasingly Democratic district. Albo also suffered a public relations hit last year over his role in the creation of the now-repealed abusive driving fees.

Democrat Greg Werkheiser, who unsuccessfully challenged Albo in 2005, is expected to take him on again in 2009. To prepare for that race, Werkheiser and his wife are helping to head up efforts in the district on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Mark R. Warner and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Werkheiser has not started raising money for 2009.

Albo said his spending this year centers around "identifying voters, writing letters, sending out newsletters and going to events."

At a recent event in Lorton, Albo distributed 2,100 "mini Dave Albo footballs," which set his campaign back $3,000.

"I am a protégé of Tom Davis," said Albo, referring to the retiring congressman from Northern Virginia's 11th congressional district. "Tom Davis (had) a seven day a week, 365 day a year campaign."

By December, Albo said he expects to have completed all of his voter identifications - a process that involves figuring out who plans to support him and where they live.

"A lot of the work will already be done by next year," Albo said.

But Albo still expects an expensive race next year, and he will likely have to step up his fundraising considerably if he wants to hold onto his seat.

Albo said his goal is to raise and spend about three-quarters of a million dollars, although some estimate a race against Werkheiser could cost each candidate more than $1 million.

Both men spent about a half-million dollars during their 2005 campaign.

By Tim Craig  |  July 25, 2008; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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