Moran Wins Primary

WaPo — Moran Wins Va. Primary

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (Va.) won renomination yesterday in a Democratic primary that became a debate between the seven-term congressman from Northern Virginia and his relatively little-known opponent, Andrew M. Rosenberg, about the incumbent’s fitness for office.

Moran defeated Rosenberg, a lawyer and lobbyist from Alexandria, with a door-to-door, low-tech campaign in which he sought to reassure voters that his seniority and record of delivering for his suburban district outweighed his personal and political missteps.

Facing his first primary challenge, Moran, 59, ran with the fervor of an underdog to win back those constituents he feared he had estranged.

“It was all about me,” he said before thanking supporters at his Arlington headquarters. “In 25 years in public service, I’ve invested a lot in this community.”

***

Moran said he planned to turn his attention to his wedding next week, then take some time off before taking on his Republican opponent, Lisa Marie Cheney, a government relations consultant from Alexandria who was nominated in May at a party convention. Moran also faces independent James Hurycz of Arlington in the November general election.

Cheney said she will challenge Moran’s record on homeland security issues. But she faces big hurdles in a district that Democrats have controlled for decades.

Moran’s electoral appeal has endured through personal and political troubles that have alternately turned voters and colleagues against him and drawn them to his side.

That trail included a bitter divorce; an incident in which Moran grabbed an 8-year-old boy who he said demanded his car keys; a dispute in which Moran shoved a House colleague; and controversies over his acceptance of two personal loans from creditors with business interests in legislation he supported.

In March 2003, Moran acknowledged saying at an antiwar forum in Reston that American Jews were pushing the county into war with Iraq. The remark infuriated American Jewish leaders and some House Democrats and led Moran to give up a leadership post in the House Democratic Caucus.

No great surprise, but a shame regardless. Moran will almost certainly win re-election in this heavily Democratic district.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.