Tracey Lenox, one of two private attorneys vying for the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primary for the commonwealth’s attorney’s race, has been fined $100 for failing to file her campaign finance report for April and May by the June 3 deadline.
City of Manassas Registrar Susan Reed sent Lenox a letter dated June 4, the day after the deadline, notifying Lenox of the $100 civil penalty and warning that the matter would be turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert (D) if the fine is not paid in 60 days.
The letter also notes that Lenox could face an additional $1,000 fine if she does not meet the next state-imposed campaign finance filing deadline, which is in July.
On Monday, the eve of Tuesday’s primary election, Lenox said she missed the deadline because of an unforeseen medical issue. She cracked a tooth last week and had to have an emergency root canal and crown.
Lenox said she tried to get the report filed on time but realized, in the midst of her dental pain, that she still had a lot of information to gather, such as her donors’ occupations, which candidates are required to include in their reports.
“I had hoped I would get it done today … but it could be tomorrow or Wednesday,” Lenox said. “At this point, I’m just trying to get through the election.”
Lenox faces fellow Democrat Amy Ashworth in Tuesday’s election.
Lenox, a private criminal defense attorney who has won Ebert’s endorsement, said she understands the June 3 deadline was set so voters could find out who donated to the various candidates' campaigns and how they spent the money before they head to the polls.
Lenox said she had no intention of not sharing the information but found herself in a tough situation she did not anticipate. She is acting as her own campaign treasurer.
“I do believe transparency is critical. This isn’t a result of me trying not to be transparent,” she said. “It was purely a medical issue that I didn’t anticipate.”
Reed said it’s “not unusual” for candidates to miss filing deadlines, especially as they get more frequent before elections, and campaign activity heats up. But no other candidates received penalty letters for this filing period, according to Reed and Michele White, Prince William County’s registrar.
Reed noted that Lenox is a first-time candidate.
“I’m sure she will get all her ducks in a row and get it in,” Reed said.
Lenox is the manager of the criminal defense division for the Manassas law firm Nichols Zauzig. She raised more than $38,000 in the first quarter of 2019, according to her most recent campaign finance report.
Ashworth, a private attorney with Farrell & Croft, is a former prosecutor who worked in Ebert’s office for 11 years, including nine years spent in the “special victims’ unit,” prosecuting child and adult sexual assault and cases.
Reach Jill Palermo at email@example.com