As Filing Deadline Passes, 11 Candidates Reported Certified for Democratic Primary

Correction: An error in the News-Press coverage of qualifying candidates this week citing an inaccurate source excluded two candidates who qualified — Bruce Shuttleworth and Satish Korpe — and included one who didn’t, Nancy Najarian. Eight District Democratic congressional candidate Lavern Chapman’s erroneously-reported “conviction in 2001″ should have been characterized as a “judgment” in a civil, not a “conviction” in a criminal court, the result of a civil lawsuit. Also, Ms. Chapman has not, as the report erroneously stated, “publicly reported her campaign contributions.” 

The News-Press apologizes for the errors.

As the deadline passed last Friday to file for candidates seeking the 8th District party nominations to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, it came as a mild surprise that all but one of those who announced they were seeking the Democratic nomination (and likely success in the November general election), 11 of them, were successfully certified for the June 10 ballot, according to Democratic 8th District chair Margo Horner.

But in a late development Friday, State Del. Alfonso Lopez announced he was dropping out of the race, as earlier State Del. Mark Sickles withdrew his candidacy and tossed his support to fellow openly-gay legislator, State Sen. Adam Ebbin last month.

So, the names that will appear on the ballot June 10 include Ebbin, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, State Del. Charniele Herring, businessman Bruce Shuttleworth, Virginia Tech professor Derek Hyra, former Virginia lieutenant governor Don Beyer, State Del. Patrick Hope, Satish Korpe and Alexandria activists Lavern Chatman and Mark Levine.

The candidates also had to submit completed financial reports, including the list of all their donors, before April 1, though that information will not be made public until April 15.

Chatman, former head of the Northern Virginia Urban League, who, through a personal friendship, the biggest celebrity supporter of this, or perhaps any, race in TV talk show legend Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey has confirmed that she will appear at a campaign event with Chatman this Saturday night, April 5, at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington. Donors can win a photo with the celebrity if they cough up $2,600, according to the Inside Nova website, but general admission tickets are only $150. The event is billed as an “Empowering Women and Girls for Leadership” forum.

Winfrey told the Washington Post last month that a civil lawsuit judgment against Chatman in 2001 based on a lawsuit charging her with defrauding hundreds of D.C. nursing home residents of at least $1.4 million will not deter her intentions to attend the fundraiser.

The Winfrey appearance will undoubtedly overshadow Beyer’s participation in the annual gala of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce at the Westin Hotel in Tysons Corner that same night. Beyer, as a Falls Church businessman, is a former president of that Chamber and a past recipient of its coveted “Pillar of the Community” award. His brother and business partner, Mike Beyer, a long-time resident of Falls Church, won that same award last year.

On the Republican side, for whom the odds are long in the 8th District, candidates Micah Edmond and Paul Haring were certified to compete in what for that party will be a convention, rather than a primary. That convention will be held April 26 at the Bishop O’Connor High School auditorium.

Also successfully filed is Jeffrey Carson of the Libertarian Party.

In other area races in the 10th congressional district extending from McLean through Loudoun County, and the 11th district extending from eastern Fairfax County to Prince William County, the races are guaranteed to be far more competitive going into the November midterm election.

In the 10th, where another long-term representative, Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican, is retiring this year, Fairfax County Supervisor from the Dranesville District John Foust has emerged as the unchallenged Democratic candidate as three former contenders all dropped out of the race.

On the Republican side, the race among six candidates will be decided in a “firehouse primary” on April 26. State Del. Barbara Comstock, representing the McLean section of Fairfax County, and renowned arch-conservative State Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William County are the prime contenders, along with Howie Lind, Stephen Holllingshead, Marc Savitt, and Rob Wasinger.

The Democrats will be crowning Foust at an April 26 convention of the 10th District Democrats at the Park View High School in Sterling.

In the 11th District, unchallenged in his own party, three-term Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly is expecting another major challenge from the GOP, coming from either Ron Meyer, Gerald Geddes or Suzanne Scholte. Going into the April 1 filing, Connolly had reported a war chest of $990,738, with his nearest challenger on that score being Meyer’s $97,781.

The other major race is for the U.S. Senate, with former Virginia Governor Mark Warner running for a second six-year term. With $8,590,662 so far in his war chest, Warner anticipates a tough challenge from the GOP, which has four candidates qualified to compete for the nomination at its June 7 state convention in Roanoke.

Those candidates are Ed Gillespie, Howie Lind, Shak Hill, Tony DeTora, and Chuck Moss.

In the 8th District Democratic primary race, many Arlingtonians are awaiting the outcome a special County Board election next Tuesday, April 8, to fill the seat vacated by Chris Zimmerman, before concentrating on the primary.

State Del. Hope is the strongest local candidate from Arlington, which is by far the most populous jurisdiction in the district. He’s focused on the “millenial” votes from the younger demographic of the county, while Beyer’s experience as a man elected to statewide office twice and a long career of Democratic Party activism, has a wider base of support. Ebbin is universally admired as a veteran openly-gay legislator.