By Drew Hansen and Jason Spencer
In the week since Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran announced he will not seek a 13th term in Congress, there’s been plenty of speculation, some consideration and one announcement in terms of candidates hoping to win his seat.
Arlington resident Bruce Shuttleworth, who ran unsuccessfully against Moran in a 2012 Democratic primary, has been the sole person to officially announce his candidacy in the last seven days.
Shuttleworth, a former Navy fighter pilot who describes himself as a feminist, pledged to be the "loudest voice in the land" for equal rights, criticized the "gun-laden streets" in America and said the need for a clean environment was "a matter of life and death." in an email announcing his decision. He called for "a new kind of space race," one that would lead to the cure for cancer and other diseases.
"We need to save our people," he said in his announcement. "We need to inspire the world – and invite them to help. We need to commit to cure cancer and so many other dreadful afflictions that can be within our reach. This is a pursuit that requires the power and the prestige of the greatest nation on earth."
A long list of other Democrats are considering throwing their hat in the ring, including former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley, current Mayor Bill Euille, Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Charniele Herring of Alexandria, Arlington Dels. Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez, Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay and former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, among others.
"I'm strongly considering it,” Hope told Patch on Tuesday. “I'm very close to making a decision. I think it'll be this week."
The Democratic primary will June 10.
The next few weeks are expected to be full of candidacy announcements. The deadline to submit signatures to get on the primary ballot is March 27.
Ebbin, who said last week he would give "serious consideration" to running, told the Washington Blade that a recent report that he was officially in the race was incorrect, though Charlie Conrad, vice chairman of elections for Lesbian and Gay Democrats of Virginia told the region’s LGBT newspaper “the word is out” that Ebbin plans to run.
In the fundraising battle, General Assembly members won’t be at a disadvantage because they can start collecting federal campaign funds while they’re in session in Richmond.
Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said friends and colleagues had encouraged him to run for the seat, but that he ultimately decided against it.
In an email to Patch on Wednesday, Fisette cited the contrast between the "dysfunctional climate" on Capitol Hill versus the "can-do atmosphere" in Arlington as playing into his decision.
"The state of politics at the national level is disheartening, with the outsized influence of shrill, well-financed forces and the disintegration of sincere efforts to forge compromise, respect one’s colleagues and realize the potential of government to make people’s lives better," he stated. "The distorted effects of re-districting and the demands of a relatively small band of conservative extremists have hijacked the House in particular for the moment."
Fisette, who was reelected to his fifth term in November, said he would work to support the Democratic nominee for the 8th Congressional District.