First quarter fundraising reports released in 2024 Democratic primary

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First quarter fundraising reports released in 2024 Democratic primary
Democratic primary candidates for mayor and City Council have released their quarter one financial details. (Photo/Jordan Tovin)
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By Caitlyn Meisner | cmeisner@alextimes.com

Councilor and mayoral candidate Alyia Gaskins raised $103,113 in the first quarter of 2024, easily outpacing Vice Mayor Amy Jackson, who raised $43,092 and resident Steven Peterson, who raised $44,700, according to mandatory campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections. 

Almost one-third of Gaskins’ contributions, $33,318, came from the household of Reginald J. Brown and Tiffeny Sanchez, while Peterson selffunded $30,000 of his total, with another $10,000 coming from one neighbor.

Gaskins has raised $149,107 since announcing her mayoral run in December 2023, compared to Jackson’s total of $59,984. Peterson, a former developer, only began fundraising on Feb. 29, so his first quarter total is the full amount he has raised.

Gaskins also had more cash on hand as of March 31 than her competitors combined; she has $69,425, while Jackson and Peterson have $22,682 and $14,019, respectively.

These campaign finance reports show the first quarter of fundraising of 2024 from Jan. 1 to March 31. The Times analyzed these records – that are publicly accessible and user-friendly on VPAP.org – which show how much candidates have raised, who their donors are, how much they’ve spent and what they’ve spent it on.

Only donors who give an aggregate of more than $100 to a campaign are required to be listed by name, occupation and location on campaign finance reports.

In this first quarter, Gaskins received cash contributions from 347 individual donors, while Jackson has received 221, Peterson with 13. Gaskins had the most donors contribute less than $100 to her campaign, totaling just over $15,200 from 263 people, and Jackson had nearly $8,000 donated by 132 people.

First quarter finance reports were released for the 2024 Democratic primary candidates for mayor. (Data/VPAP) (Chart/Jessica Kim)

Among Gaskins’ top donors are Sanchez and Brown, who have contributed $25,000 and $23,318, respectively, to her campaign since her Dec. 4, 2023 announcement. According to BeenVerified records, Sanchez and Brown live at the same address in Alexandria.

Both donated sizable amounts – Sanchez $5,000 and Brown $10,000 – the day after Gaskins’ announcement. Sanchez and Brown have since collectively donated an additional $33,318 since Jan. 1. Sanchez has exclusively donated to Democrats in the past and her donations have reached nearly $61,000 in total. Her donation to Gaskins in this campaign is the largest she has made to any candidate.

In fact, the $25,000 total that Sanchez has donated to Gaskins since December 2023 is by far the largest aggregate cash donation that any of Alexandria’s last four mayors – Justin Wilson, Allison Silberberg, Bill Euille and Kerry Donley – received from one donor. Each of the four prior mayors ran for the office multiple times.

Brown also donated $10,000 to Wilson in 2021, making him the largest single aggregate donor of cash gifts to Wilson during his two mayoral bids in 2018 and 2021. Brown has donated nearly $110,000 to Democratic causes and candidates in Virginia, and more than $239,000 to Republicans. He’s donated to Jackson’s City Council campaigns in the past, but has not donated to her campaign for mayor.

Gaskins also received $25,000 across three labor unions since her announcement. UNITE HERE Local 23, an airport workers union, NOVA Area Labor Federation and Service Employees International Union – Local 32BJ, a property service workers union, are among her top 10 donors.

Jackson is her own top donor, along with her existing City Council reserve, which contributed $10,899 the day she announced, Dec. 8, 2023. Jackson loaned $7,895 to the campaign throughout the month of March. Her next largest donor is Martha Bickford from Alexandria, who has donated $5,516 in 2024 so far, and is listed in BeenVerified as a relative.

Peterson is also his own top donor, having donated $30,000 in total since Feb. 29. His next largest donor is Albert M. Sramek, who donated $10,000 also on Feb. 29. Peterson had raised $4,700 total from other donors as of March 31.

Peterson’s largest donor pool by occupation is real estate developers due to his own large donations. Jackson’s is political, largely in part to her committee’s donation, as well as donations from Richard Saslaw for Senate’s political action committee and Bill Rossello for City Council’s PAC. Gaskins’ largest donor pool was categorized as “miscellaneous,” which included non-wage earners such as Sanchez, along with nonprofit employees, teachers and retired people. 

The 11 candidates for City Council – four incumbents and seven newcomers – have collectively raised $271,576 this quarter. Newcomer Jesse O’Connell has raised $46,081 from 176 donors, several of which are Alexandrians who donated $1,000 or more, making him the person who raised the most this quarter in the Council race.

*Incumbent. (Data/VPAP) (Chart/Jessica Kim)

Kirk McPike and John Taylor Chapman have raised the most as incumbents, $40,858 and $37,800 respectively. Chapman has the most cash on hand, ending with $44,354 on March 31.

Of McPike’s 20 donors who have contributed $500 or more in the first quarter of 2024, all but three are listed as having addresses outside of Alexandria: the three Alexandria donors are McPike himself along with Brown and Sanchez, who donated a combined $4,500 to McPike this quarter. The other large donors to McPike, who is chief of staff to a U.S. Congressman, hail from Texas, Florida, California, Indiana, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Abdel-Rahman Elnoubi, a current School Board member, has raised $39,627 this quarter with 116 individual donors. Many of his donors also do not have Alexandria addresses and reside in neighboring jurisdictions including Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, Reston and Herndon.

All but four candidates have raised more than $15,000 this quarter: Kevin Harris – who previously ran in 2021; Jonathan Huskey – who only declared on March 24; current School Board member Jacinta Greene and Charlotte Scherer.

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