Virginia: Connolly Launches His Exploratory Committee

Posted January 4, 2008 at 4:49pm

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) announced last week that he was forming an exploratory committee for a possible bid in the 11th district, where seven-term Rep. Tom Davis (R) has not yet said whether he will seek another term.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history,” Connolly, a former staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who was elected to the board of supervisors in 1995, said in a statement. “America is desperate for new leadership in Washington so we can undo the damage of the Bush years. … I look forward to exploring how I can further serve our community.”

Exploratory committee spokesman James Walkinshaw said Friday that Connolly expects to be polling in the district within the “the next couple weeks” and that Davis’ continued silence on whether he will run again is not playing any role in the timing of Connolly’s decision.

“Gerry is working on his own timeline,” Walkinshaw said. “He’s going to make this decision based on the level of support he expects from people in the community and his own personal feelings.”

A Davis spokesman said Friday that the Congressman will reveal his plans by the end of the month.

Davis had been widely expected to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner (R) but decided against the move in October. If Davis decides to leave Congress, perhaps for a lucrative lobbying job, Democratic chances in the battleground district would be much improved. But the Democratic primary also is shaping up to be a tough fight with former Rep. Leslie Byrne already in the race.

— John McArdle