Former House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn is facing pushback from the leader of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee after she announced her run for Congress Wednesday.
The Chair of LCDC, Avram Fechter, released a statement Wednesday night saying the committee would not be keeping the $1,000 donation Filler-Corn’s PAC recently donated to them. Instead, they are giving the money to a Red Cross fund in support of Gaza. “We did not feel comfortable keeping this money given the timing and nature of Filler-Corn’s announcement,” Fechter said.
Filler-Corn’s campaign pointed out that she has been giving money to candidates across the commonwealth as well as attending many campaign events. “This year alone she has traveled to over 80 events and invested over $300,000 in winning this year’s elections, including to the Party’s turnout operation to hire amazing staff who are working as we speak to win races up and down the ballot in VA-10,” Filler Corn’s campaign said in a statement to Virginia Scope.
She has also been a prolific fundraiser for the party helping raise more than $7 million during her time in the House.
In her campaign announcement, Filler-Corn, a Jewish woman, pointed to the recent events in Israel as a tragedy happening while the House of Representatives is in chaos without a Speaker. “As a Jewish American, I have deeply felt the tragedies of the past few weeks,” she said Wednesday. “Congress has been left rudderless at a time of global uncertainty. The American people and our allies abroad deserve better than this.”
Filler-Corn is seeking the Democratic nomination in VA-10 which is made up of parts of Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Fairfax, Manassas, and Rappahannock. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D) has represented the district since 2018 but she is not seeking reelection next year due to a recent medical diagnosis.
Prior to the 2024 elections, however, all 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for election this November.
Fechter accused Filler-Corn of distracting from the General Assembly elections for her own political gain by saying she is “seeking to leverage the horrible events of the past two weeks.”
The Filler-Corn campaign pushed back against that accusation Thursday. “It is despicable that there is any insinuation that Eileen Filler-Corn, an American Jewish woman who has lived in Israel, who has family and friends directly impacted by the war would be seeking to benefit from unprecedented tragedy.”
The announcement from Fechter and LCDC quickly made the rounds in Democratic circles and social media Wednesday night. Republicans also did not hesitate to comment. “Lordy. Democrats going to war with each other in the open now,” said Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for Republican House Speaker Todd Gilbert.
“It’s a nice break from watching Republicans doing it,” Holly Thornton said in response to Shipley’s tweet.
When asked if this announcement is also distracting from November’s election, Fechter pointed to the part of his statement that encouraged voters to knock doors for Democratic candidates Rob Banse (HD-30) and Russet Perry (SD-31). He also emphasized the part that called for any other serious potential VA-10 candidates to refrain from officially announcing their campaign until after election day.
One of those likely Democratic candidates is former Del. Ibraheem Samirah, who used the announcement from LCDC to attack Filler-Corn on Twitter. “Thank you, @LoudounDems,” Samirah tweeted Wednesday night. “This is why I’m proud to be a Loudoun County Democrat. @EFillerCorn has no business exploiting the pain of innocent Israelis and Palestinians suffering right now for her own political gain. We must always put people before politics.”
Some Democrats talking on background were surprised by the announcement from LCDC. “To call into question Eileen’s basic humanity in the midst of the horror we are seeing in the Middle East? Is that the job of a county Democratic chair? Who is he to ascribe such evil motives to her,” asked a source who reached out to Virginia Scope but asked not to be identified citing relationships with multiple potential candidates.
As for choosing sides in the war, Fechter believes that support for Israel will not be an issue of difference in the VA-10 primary. “The vast majority of Democratic voters in the 10th congressional district fully support Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself,” he said Wednesday. “Support for Israel will not be an issue in the upcoming primary, there will be little to no difference between the serious candidates in the race on support for the State of Israel.
Filler-Corn’s campaign on Thursday said she is looking forward to the primary but still wants to focus on Democrats winning the General Assembly first. “We welcome a spirited Primary, but today our focus needs to be on defeating MAGA Republicans who threaten our freedoms on November 7th.”