Moran Wins Va. Primary
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.
Yesterday, those controversies resonated with many voters, whether they wanted the congressman in or out.
"I'd like to see someone other than Jim Moran in Congress," said Cynthia Magazine, a community activist voting in Old Town Alexandria. "He votes right, but he's got foot-in-mouth disease. He's lost his ability to be persuasive. I don't think anybody takes him seriously. All those financial shenanigans?"
Others said they were swayed by the Secrest controversy to support Moran because they felt he was unfairly accused.
"I think [the Secrest allegation] is a phony issue," said Bob Rackmales, 66, a retired Foreign Service officer from Alexandria. "The hyping of it crystallized my decision to vote for Moran and erased any lingering doubts. I was not prepared to vote against someone on the basis of a totally ridiculous charge. . . . I know Jim Moran is not an anti-Semite."
Rosenberg was the only Democratic challenger remaining after a pack of better-known elected officials decided not to run against Moran.
At the polls, some said they were voting against the incumbent rather than for the challenger.
"I think it may be time for a change," said Marcie Corbett, 65, a Fairfax County resident. "I think Mr. Moran has done a good enough job, but he has an anger management problem, basically."
Many of his supporters said Moran's continued political survival comes down to a perception that he takes care of his district's interests.
"He delivers," said Fairfax County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee), recalling how Moran secured federal funding to refurbish Richmond Highway and worked to build a road network to open the area around Fort Belvoir to local traffic after security-related closures caused traffic congestion. "Every politician has foibles, but what means the most is, do they deliver for their district?"
© 2004 The Washington Post Company