Comstock, Foust in Close Race for 10th Congressional District Seat

John foust (right) meets with 10th Congressional District constituents. A September poll found that he is down two percentage points to his opponent Barbara Comstock. (Courtesy Photo)
John foust (right) meets with 10th Congressional District constituents. A September poll found that he is down two percentage points to his opponent Barbara Comstock. (Courtesy Photo)

The 10th and 11th Congressional Districts of Virginia races are starkly different. One is a contentious race between two candidates vying for a seat being vacated by seventeen-term Republican congressman Frank Wolf. The other seems like a runaway victory for incumbent congressman Gerry Connolly (D), currently serving his third term.

The 10th Congressional District race features 34th District Virginia State Delegate Barbara Comstock (R) and Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D) among a field that includes libertarian, green and independent party candidates.

Comstock, who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009, is running on a platform that promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act (2010), give tax cuts to families and small businesses and bolster the nation’s national security infrastructure. She touts herself as a right-to-work politician, who is pro-life, gun-friendly and in favor of offshore drilling and oil exploration.

Foust was elected to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors in 2007. His campaign platform includes promises to support investments in education, infrastructure and research and development, expand early childhood education, make college affordable and expand training programs for Virginia’s education workforce. Some of his other campaign promises are to provide funding and financial assistance to major transportation projects in the region and develop balanced budgets that protect essential public services – like funding all day kindergarten – and continue to make investments in the future.

A poll released at the beginning of October by Republican PAC Congressional Leadership Fund and The Terrance Group has Comstock carrying 46 percent of the vote to Foust’s 34 percent in a district that typically leans Republican. The poll also said that 14 percent of voters in the 10th district are undecided.

A poll released in late September by House Majority PAC had the head-to-head between Comstock and Foust at 41–39. According to Caroline Behringer, Foust’s communications advisor, internal polling has Foust within the margin of error of Comstock, though they declined to reveal their poll numbers. Other candidates in the 10th District Congressional race include Bill Redpath (L), Dianne Blais (G) and Brad Eckholt (I).

In the 11th Congressional District race, Connolly’s top challenger is Suzanne Scholte (R), who has been president of the non-profit Defense Forum Foundation since 1988. Connolly, who was first elected in Congress in 2008, had his greatest electoral challenge in 2010, when he won re-election over Keith Fimian (R) by a .4 percent margin in a year with big Republican gains in Congress. His current campaign platform includes promises to create a pro-business environment, make “smart” investments in Virginia’s public schools and protect Medicare and social security.

Scholte, a lifelong Republican, was the youngest chief of staff on Capitol Hill during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, has a long history of activism in the Republican Party of Virginia and is a native Northern Virginian. She’s never held or ran for an elected office, though, and is running in a Congressional district that hasn’t elected a Republican since electing Tom Davis (R) to an eighth consecutive term in 2006 and is called a “Solid Democratic” district by Cook Political Report.

Her campaign platform promises to reform the Affordable Care Act, promote small businesses, protect benefits to veterans, federal workers and retirees that were financially harmed by the Federal government’s sequester and cuts to the nation’s defense budget. Scholte’s other campaign promises include working to reduce the nation’s $17 trillion debt and work for entitlement reform.

Other candidates in the race include Joe Galdo (G) and Marc Harrold (L).