Fairfax's Herrity poised to enter race for Connolly's House seat

By Derek Kravitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fairfax County Supervisor Pat S. Herrity (R-Springfield) said he is closer to entering the midterm election race against first-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), as Republicans and Democrats in Northern Virginia begin to ramp up for the contest.

Herrity, 49, an accountant whose father was chairman of the Fairfax Board in the 1970s and '80s, said Tuesday that he "wanted to run" but had not decided whether he would. An announcement could come in the next week, he said.

"I want to do it, but it's not a done deal," Herrity said.

Republican officials have been pressuring Herrity to announce his bid soon or risk falling behind in fundraising.

Herrity's entrance into the race would probably set up a Republican primary battle with Keith Fimian, a wealthy Oakton businessman who has pledged to stay in the contest regardless of the supervisor's decision. Fimian, 53, ran against Connolly in 2008 and lost.

Through the end of September, Fimian reported $269,000 in cash on hand, according to federal campaign finance records, and he recently received the endorsement of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

The prospect of a GOP primary fight has excited some party loyalists who see it as an indication that the victor will be a tough opponent for Connolly, said Anthony Bedell, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

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