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Herrity: In or Out in the 11th District?

Amy Gardner

Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity said tonight he's "leaning against" running for Congress in Northern Virginia's 11th Congressional District because he thinks he can do more for residents if he tries instead in 2011 for chairman of the county board.

Herrity said he will make a final decision in the next week, leaving open the possibility that fellow Republican Keith Fimian will go unchallenged for his party's nomination to face freshman Democrat Gerry Connolly next fall.

Fimian, the owner of the nation's largest home-inspection business, lost badly to Connolly in 2008 but is prepared to spend his own money -- a fact that national Republicans say is attractive because it allows them to direct party resources elsewhere.

But Fimian has not yet demonstrated an ability to lock up either Republican or business support locally. After Herrity first said he was considering a run for Congress, Fimian announced the support of just four Republicans from Prince William County, which encompasses less than a third of the district. Today, Fimian announced his endorsement by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

Republicans expressed equal concern about Herrity's ability to raise money independently, but the Springfield District supervisor said that is not a factor in his decision. Rather, he thinks he'd rather challenge Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), who barely beat him in a special election to replace Connolly last winter.

There's also this to consider: Herrity doesn't want another loss on his record so soon after losing to Bulova. Although few view Connolly as invulnerable, he is widely viewed as the safest of Virginia's three freshman Democrats.

By Amy Gardner  |  December 2, 2009; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Election 2010  
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