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Moran's Decision

Tim Craig

In selling his decision to consider running for both his House seat and the Democratic nomination for governor next year, Del. Brian J. Moran's (D-Alexandria) staff point to Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden. After he was tapped by President-Elect Barack Obama, Biden remained on the ballot in Delaware for his U.S. Senate seat. He won both races so the governor of Delaware will now be filling his Senate seat.

But Biden was already his party's nominee for the Senate when he was selected by Obama. Moran would be starting the year with his eye toward winning two races at the same time.

According to legislative sources, 1993 was the last time a delegate ran for reelection to their seat while also running for higher office. Delegate Clint Miller sought the Republican nomination for Governor at the 1993 Republican Convention while simultaneously running for reelection. Miller lost the GOP nod for governor, placing third behind George Allen and Earl Williams. He won reelection to his seat in the House of Delegates, however.

In 2005, State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) gave up his House seat to seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

"I just felt like putting all my chips on the table and I didn't feel like it was being forthright to seek two offices at the same time," said Petersen, who is supporting Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) for governor. "I think the voter has the right to say which one does he really want."

But Petersen added "each politician has to make their own individual decision."

"It has to be based on your own finances, own family situation, and the voters you represent," Petersen said. " In my case I made my decision but obviously Brian is going to make his own decision."

In a conference call with reporters Friday, Moran strategist Mame Reiley said she "has total confidence Brian is going to win the gubernatorial primary."

Reiley said the Alexandria Democratic Committee asked Moran to run for both jobs because it does not want a contentious primary battle to fill his seat. Reiley said the committee prefers to hold a special election, assuming Moran wins the nomination for governor.

But a special election would, presumably, cost the taxpayers money. And neither Reiley nor Jesse Ferguson, Moran's communications director, could answer a question about why Democrats should be afraid of an open, contested primary.

By Tim Craig  |  November 24, 2008; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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Next: Perriello Wins House Seat


Chap Petersen's decision not to seek both positons at the same one was the right one. Though he failed to become the Dem. candidate for Lt. Gov., his prinicpled position in creased my respect for him.

Posted by: IrishRose | November 25, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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