Moran Wins Va. Primary
Said Kerry J. Donley, a former Alexandria mayor who is now chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party: "Jim has 25 years of service as an elected official, and that just as often connects with voters as much as some of the negatives. People like his passion and conviction."
He ran an unusual campaign for a long-term incumbent, choosing low-key, grass-roots gatherings with voters over a more high-tech, television-heavy strategy suggested by some advisers, including Secrest.
He shook hands with morning commuters at Metro stations. He held coffees in constituents' living rooms to reintroduce himself to voters, whom he acknowledged he alienated with his public flare-ups. He sent mailings to voters last week citing his experience but also his humanity, an image his campaign manager, Dan Lucas, said he wanted to convey to distinguish Moran from "every other blow-dried, focus-grouped politician."
"People were able to see Jim as a regular person," said Lucas, who also ran Hillary Rodham Clinton's successful Senate campaign in New York. "Any other campaign would not have worked. There was nothing we could have put on television to address this myriad of stuff."
Throughout the campaign, Rosenberg hammered at Moran's ethics and raised questions about his personal judgments. But toward the end, Rosenberg also sought to define himself as the true liberal in the race, criticizing Moran's support for free trade, his endorsement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and his one-time opposition to a late-term abortion procedure that foes call "partial birth" abortion.
By last week, Rosenberg was calling Moran a "conservative, big-business" Democrat. Moran fought back, highlighting Rosenberg's lobbying work representing pharmaceutical companies and calling him the friend of business interests.
Rosenberg temporarily won, then lost, the support of the liberal advocacy group Americans for Democratic Action. Moran supporters on the organization's board, who had been absent during a vote to back Rosenberg, successfully pushed for another vote in favor of the congressman.
Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, said Moran's staying power is less a reflection of him than of his Democratic-leaning district.
"It's the desire of a very liberal district to keep a Democratic congressman in an age when Republicans are in power," he said. "What it comes down to is, a lot of people have a 'Go with the horse you know' kind of mentality."
Staff writer Annie Gowen contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Rep. James P. Moran Jr., who ran a grass-roots campaign in an effort to win back any disaffected voters, celebrates with a speech to a gathering of supporters in Arlington.
(Rich Lipski -- The Washington Post)
A June 9 article on Rep. James P. Moran Jr.'s primary victory in Virginia's 8th Congressional District mischaracterized a vote by the Greater Washington chapter of Americans for Democratic Action. The group's board decided to adopt a neutral stance in the Democratic primary.
| Va. House Dist. 8 Primary |
|Updated 9:47 PM ET ||Precincts:100% |
The Battle for the 8th District (The Washington Post, Jun 3, 2004)
The Challenger: Andrew M. Rosenberg (The Washington Post, Jun 3, 2004)
Biography: Andrew M. Rosenberg (The Washington Post, Jun 3, 2004)
The Incumbent: Rep. James P. Moran (The Washington Post, Jun 3, 2004)
Biography: Rep. James P. Moran (The Washington Post, Jun 3, 2004)