Charniele Herring joins field for Rep. Moran’s seat, will step down as chair of Va. Democrats

Del. Charniele Herring said Thursday that she is running for the seat of retiring Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), adding to a crowded field and leaving a vacancy atop the Virginia Democratic Party.

“If elected, I will continue the good works of Congressman Jim Moran to foster the economic development of Northern Virginia, address the needs of our veterans, work for access to affordable healthcare, and protect the privacy of a woman and her healthcare decisions,” she said in a statement.

Herring, who represents Alexandria in the General Assembly, is at least the third Democrat to join the race to succeed Moran. Del. Patrick A. Hope (Arlington) made his campaign official Thursday, and businessman Bruce Shuttleworth — whom Moran trounced in the 2012 Democratic primary — said he is running again.

Other Democrats expected to run include state Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (Alexandria), Del. Alfonso H. Lopez (Arlington) and Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. Former Virginia lieutenant governor Don Beyer also said Thursday that he was “interested” in running for the seat.

But Herring may be the only woman in the field, an advantage on a potentially long primary ballot in a district that leans strongly toward Democrats. In 2012, President Obama took 68 percent of the vote in the 8th Congressional District, which includes Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and part of Fairfax.

Because of her House bid, Herring said in her statement that she will step down from her role as chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Her resignation will take effect March 15, when her successor will be chosen at the party’s central committee meeting.

Herring said she will work to fill the party’s vacant executive director position before she steps down. The most recent executive director, Lauren Harmon, left in January to take a post with the Ohio Democratic Party, where she had worked before coming to the commonwealth.

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