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Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Patrick Murray 'leaning toward' a rematch with Moran in 2012

By Ben Pershing

Retired Army Col. Patrick Murray (R) says he is "leaning toward" challenging Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) next year, setting up a potential repeat of their 2010 contest that Moran won handily.

Murray has been mostly silent since November, when Moran defeated the Republican, 61 percent to 37 percent, despite a wave that boosted other GOP candidates across Virginia. But on Monday, Murray told ARLnow that he's "leaning toward running again."

"I've left the campaign open for a reason," Murray said. "I'm inclined not to give up after one run, but it's too early to say. ... I haven't ruled anything out for 2012. I'm committed to this area, I'm committed to the political process, and I'm committed to the Republican party."

(ARLnow added that Murray also "quashed rumors" that he might run to succeed state Sen. Patricia S. Ticer (D), who is expected to retire.)

Murray spoke up in recent days in reaction to Moran's latest controversy -- his comments to an Arab TV network that Democrats lost in 2010 because "a lot of people" don't want a black president, saying that the election results happened for "the same reason the Civil War happened."

On his Web site and in an email to supporters, Murray chastized Moran for the comments. "This latest outburst, coming as we know all too well on a long history of Moran outbursts, is not only wildly inaccurate, it is un-American," Murray said.

Moran's office had not responded to a request for comment as of this posting.

Moran's 8th Congressional District - which includes Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and part of Fairfax County -- leans heavily toward Democrats. Though Murray got some fund-raising help from high-profile Republicans, many of whom live in the district, he was never able to make the 2010 contest competitive even in a great year for the GOP elsewhere. In 2012, with President Obama atop the ballot, Murray's task could be even tougher.

By Ben Pershing  | February 2, 2011; 11:57 AM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, James P. Moran Jr.  
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