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Pricey Showdown Over Fairfax House Seat

A mad fundraising dash in Fairfax is set to test the political axiom Tuesday that the candidate with the most money usually wins.

Mark Keam, a former top aide to Illinois Senator Richard Durbin (D), and Esam Omeish, chief of surgery at Inova Alexandria Hospital, have been on money raising tear. Vienna attorney Roy Baldwin has also put in a strong showing, while former Fairfax prosecutor John Carroll has lagged in the money race.

The four are vying for the Democratic nomination in Fairfax's 35th House of Delegates district, which includes Tysons Corner and Oakton.
In the most recent reporting period, Keam and Omeish were two of the top-ten fundraisers in House races across the Commonwealth, according to a Washington Post analysis of data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. Between April 1 and May 27, Omeish raised $75,800 and Keam took in $61,800. Omeish had $33,500 on hand as of late last month, a $3,000 edge over Keam.

But Keam, who has worked as a lobbyist for Verizon, pulled in large amounts last year as well, and remains the race's fundraising champ, with $194,400 overall. Omeish, who faced controversy over statements he made as an activist in Muslim-American groups, has raised $143,700.

Baldwin runs his own law firm and has raised $116,600, and he has nearly half of it left. His total includes a $30,000 loan he made to his campaign.

Carroll, a former Fairfax prosecutor, has raised $55,500.

An analysis of four years worth of legislative races across the country by the National Institute of Money in State Politics found that the candidate who raised the most won about 85 percent of the time.

We'll see Tuesday.

By Michael Laris  |  June 6, 2009; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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