Adam Boltik expected many hurdles when he decided to run for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, but a $1,180 registration fee for the Republican primary was not one of them. The high fee forced Boltik, a junior at the College, to consider abandoning his campaign.
p. Boltik describes himself as a “conservative Republican” on his website, BoltikForSupervisor.com, and believes that Springfield would “benefit from a representative with a youthful vigor and the tenacity required to strike compromises with a Democrat-controlled Board.” Unfortunately, Virginia’s high primary registration fees effectively prevent him from running.
p. “You have to pay $1,200 just because you identify yourself with the party. It needs to be that anyone who wants can step up and run, not who has been saving up the longest,” Boltik said.
p. Ironically, Boltik’s difficulties in raising enough money to cover the fee may have bolstered his chances of success. Jan. 18, The Washington Post ran an article describing his situation and frustration with his election efforts. He told The Flat Hat that several groups interested in helping approached him after it was published.
p. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people saying, ‘Hey, you’re right,’ and willing to put up money. I’m going to go ahead and definitely consider [running],” he said.
p. While the Post quoted Fairfax County GOP Chairman Eric Lundberg as supporting Boltik’s enthusiasm, others, such as incumbent Springfield Supervisor Elaine McConnell, questioned his candidacy’s viability.
p. “I bet everyone will spend $100,000 or darn close to it. If people can’t financially raise $1,200 for a filing fee, are they going to be able to maintain a campaign?” she said in an interview with the Post.
p. Boltik disagrees. “I don’t see why someone thinks you have to spend that sort of money on any campaign. On a local campaign you can get by just fine relying on friends and donors,” he said. “It’s ridiculous to think only the rich people can run for office because they have $100,000 to spend.”
p. Boltik also criticized the entrenched nature of the county’s Republican hierarchy. “The party structure is real rigid up there,” he said. “All of that gets in the way of democracy.”
p. Boltik’s primary issues are the high property taxes that he says are forcing those who work in Fairfax County to move farther and farther away from their jobs. Increasing demand for real estate has raised property values and taxes along with them, he said, hurting the county’s middle class.
p. “The amount you have to pay just keeps going up. A lot of people who work in the county can’t afford to live in the county they serve,” he said.
p. If his bid to get in the Republican primary is unsuccessful, Boltik may consider running as an independent. “I’ve actually been contacted by the head of the state Independent Green Party. He’s told me that if, I can’t get the funds to do it he’d be willing to sponsor me in November,” Boltik said.
p. “The thing about being the independent is you don’t have to go through the primary. That’s definitely something I’ll consider,” he added.
p. The Independent Greens are a fiscally conservative party, perhaps best known in the state for running Gail Parker, a retired Pentagon analyst, in Virginia’s 2006 Senate election.
p. Whatever happens, Boltik said he isn’t ready to give up yet.
“Say what you want about the chances of winning, but some things are worth trying and some things are worth fighting for.”