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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Large field of candidates vying to fill Moran's seat in Congress

Lots of people are lining up to run for the congressional seat held by Rep. Jim Moran, who announced last month that he will not seek re-election. The heavily Democratic and diverse 8th District extends from Woodbridge to McLean and includes parts of Lincolnia, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Seven Corners in Mason District.

So far, nine people have announced plans to run for the Democratic nomination, although some are expected to drop out before the primary on June 10. Just one Republican candidate has surfaced so far, Micah Edmonds, a vice president for the Aerospace Industries Association and a former legislative aid on Capitol Hill.

Four of the Democrats addressed a meeting of the Brigades, a progressive grassroots political group, Feb. 8:
  • Bruce Shuttleworth, a former Navy pilot who challenged Moran in the 2012 primary, told the audience he supports “Medicare for all” and said “Obamacare is a step in the right direction but doesn’t go nearly far enough.”
Shuttleworth said the nation spends too much on national defense and homeland security and not enough on things like cancer research, which doesn’t make sense because cancer kills way more people than terrorists.
  • Patrick Hope, who represents Arlington in the House of Delegates, said he is running because he feels strongly about protecting the most vulnerable people who have no voice. “We need to stand up to the Tea Party,” he told the Brigades. “We also need to stand up to people within our own party who don’t support progressive values,” including those who support payday lenders that “take advantage of the poor.”
Hope spoke about his efforts in the General Assembly to enact prison reform and called for expanding the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum wage. “Putting more money in people’s pockets will stimulate our economy,” he said.
  • Del. Charnielle Herring represents Alexandria in the General Assembly, serves as the House minority whip, and is chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Herring said her experience being homeless at age 16 with her mother and getting financial aid to attend college has helped her understand the struggles of the poor and “the importance of smart government programs.”
Herring said her priorities include protecting women’s access to reproductive care and investing in alternative energy.
  • Don Beyer, a former lieutenant governor (1990-98), was a fundraiser for the 2008 Obama campaign and most recently was ambassador to Switzerland.
He said he is “dismayed by the increasing disparity between the very rich and the rest of us.” He called for raising the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit and creating incentives to hire the long-term unemployed. Beyer also said he supports paid family and medical leave, protecting women’s reproductive rights, creating a meaningful path to citizenship, and action on climate change.

Rounding out the field of Democratic candidates are Lavern Chatman, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League; Virginia Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria; Del. Alfonso Lopez of Arlington; Del. Mark Sickles of Fairfax County; and Alexandria Mayor William Euille.

In addition, radio host Mark Levine and Arlington County Board member J. Walter Tejada are considering running for Moran’s seat.

Updated Feb. 18, 2014: Derek Hyra, an associate professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech and chair of the City of Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, jumped into the 8th district primary race Feb. 18. Levine also officially filed as a candidate.

1 comment:

  1. No background information on the republican candidate?