Former Alexandria Mayor Charles E. Beatley Jr. and political newcomer Clifford E. Snyder Jr. filed petitions yesterday to seek the Democratic nomination in the race against incumbent Republican 8th District Rep. Stan Parris.

Both Democrats had announced plans to seek their party's nomination before yesterday's filing deadline for the June 10 primary.

Beatley, a five-term mayor who was defeated solidly in his reelection campaign last May, is considered the stonger candidate against Parris, who is seeking his fifth term in the House.

Beatley, 69, a retired airline pilot, said of his chances of beating the incumbent: "Who knows? It's a long shot."

The 8th District includes Alexandria, southern Fairfax County and parts of Prince William and Stafford counties.

"Of course, Beatley has name recognition in Alexandria . . . and frankly not all the recognition is favorable," Snyder, 30, said yesterday. "So I'm not going to write off Alexandria."

Snyder, a Fairfax County resident who resigned his federal job as a microbiologist to pursue his candidacy, said he is a strong advocate of handgun control and would ultimately propose a ban on such weapons. Snyder said he hopes voters will be impressed with a "fresh face in politics."

Both Snyder and Beatley have said they do not expect to match Parris' campaign fund raising. Parris has reported that he already has raised about $231,000.