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Alexandria delegate drops out of Democratic primary in Virginia’s 8th District

The crowded field of Democrats vying for the Northern Virginia congressional seat of retiring Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D) shrank by one on Monday, when Del. Charniele L. Herring announced an end to her bid and endorsed frontrunning candidate Don Beyer.

“After looking at our polling and consulting with many supporters, I have decided to suspend my campaign for Congress. For us, the path to victory is simply too narrow this time around,” she said in an email to supporters.

Herring said she is now backing Beyer, a former ambassador and two-term lieutenant governor who has emerged as an early frontrunner.

“After much reflection and conversations with several candidates, I am convinced that Don Beyer is committed to defending our progressive values in Congress,” she said.

Herring, the first African American chair of Virginia’s Democratic Party, never gained much momentum in a crowded field that includes several candidates from her home base of Alexandria, including Beyer.

Beyer’s quick fundraising pace and strong name recognition in the area have made him the candidate to beat ahead of the June 10 primary.

Herring is the second candidate to drop out in recent days. Satish Korpe, a long-shot entrepreneur, ended his campaign last week. Eight Democrats remain. The winner of the primary will be a huge favorite in the general election. President Obama won more than two out of three votes in the 8th District in 2012.

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