";} /*B6D1B1EE*/ ?>
Sun Gazette: Real Estate PAC Finds Reasons to Be Happy With Legislative Results Print


Created: Monday, November 21, 2011 12:00 pm


The political action committee of the Virginia Association of Realtors garnered a 97.7-percent success rate among its endorsed candidates for the General Assembly on Nov. 8.

"We won. Big," said Andrew Kantor, the organization's editor and information manager, in a posting on the Virginia Association of Realtors' Web site.

"All but two of VAR's candidates in key 2011 races were victorious – one of the highest (if not the highest) success rates we've ever seen," Kantor wrote.

The 86-for-88 success rate was inflated somewhat by a number of races where incumbents were unopposed or faced only token opposition. Regardless, officials with the state's largest real estate trade group say the endorsements will pay dividends.

"Thanks to that effort, when we go to the [General] Assembly, we're well-received – doors are opened and our positions are heard," Kantor wrote. "And that helps ensure a healthier real estate market for everyone."

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the Virginia Realtor Political Action Committee made nearly $274,000 in campaign contributions to legislative candidates – ranging from $250 to $22,000 – from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30. The contributions, and the group's endorsements, were relatively evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

Perhaps the most high-profile loss for Realtors came in Spotsylvania County, where incumbent Democratic state Sen. Edd Houck suffered a narrow defeat to Republican Bryce Reeves, ending his 28-year Senate career.

Realtors also funneled significant campaign cash to Democrat Shawn Mitchell in an open Senate seat in Loudoun and Prince William counties. Mitchell lost to Republican Dick Black.

At the local level, the Virginia Realtor PAC endorsed Democrats Barbara Favola, Adam Ebbin and Janet Howell for state Senate, and endorsed Democrats Bob Brink and Patrick Hope for House of Delegates. All won.

Members of the Virginia Association of Realtors will descend on Richmond Feb. 14-17 for the organization's annual legislative conference.