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Tidal Wave of Va. Democrats Eye Newly Open House Seat (Updated)

Moran is retiring. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Moran is retiring. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:41 p.m. | Maybe Virginia Democrats should start figuring out who isn’t running for retiring Rep. James P. Moran’s seat?

Moran’s 12-term hold on the seat, located in the strong Democratic suburbs of Washington, D.C., has left a long line of ambitious pols poised to unload into the primary for Virginia’s 8th District.

Democratic operatives say Moran’s brother, Brian Moran, is an obvious potential successor. A longtime state legislator and former chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, Brian Moran would have the strong name identification and financial connections to run a competitive bid. The district is pricey because it includes the Washington, D.C. media market.

But Brian Moran recently took a job with Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration, raising questions as to whether he’d run for the seat.

Operatives mentioned many other names of potential candidates as well:

  • Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada. Tejada’s Hispanic background could help set him apart in this district that has seen large growth in that community.
  • Arlington County Board chairman Jay Fisette.
  • Longtime Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, the city’s first African-American mayor.
  • Former United States Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. Chopra ran an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor in Virginia in 2013, losing to Democrat Ralph Northam in the primary.
  • Del. Charniele Herring, who is also the first African-American elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

In all likelihood, the district will stay in Democratic hands in 2014. President Barack Obama carried the district with 68 percent in 2012.

The filing deadline to run for the seat is March 27. The primary is June 3.

Virginia’s 8th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Update 2:41 p.m. | More Democratic names have surfaced as potential candidates in the hours after Moran’s retirement.

They include:

  • State Sen. Adam Ebbin, who served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to the state Senate in 2011.
  • State Del. Alfonso Lopez, a former aide to then-Gov. Tim Kaine.
  • Former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donely. Donely also served on the Alexandria City Council from 2010 until 2013.
  • State Del. Patrick Hope from Arlington.
  • State Del. Mark Sickles from Alexandria.
  • State Del. Bob Brink from Arlington.
  • Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay.

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