Republicans on Saturday nominated Marine Corps veteran and former congressional aide Micah Edmond for the U.S. House in a liberal Northern Virginia district where he will face very long odds in the general election.

Edmond defeated Army combat veteran Dennis Bartow at a nominating convention in Arlington where party delegates gathered. Former Texas state legislator Paul Haring finished a distant third.

At a Thursday candidate forum, Edmond, who is African American and converted to Judaism a young age, cast himself as moderate Republican. He said he is not bound by political ideology.

Rep. James P. Moran (D), who has represented the area for more than two decades, is retiring at the end of his current term. Democrats will select their nominee from a field of 10 candidates in a June 10 primary. The Democratic nominee is near-certain to win the general election because of the district's heavy Democratic tilt. President Obama won more than two-thirds of the vote there in 2012.

The 8th District includes Arlington County, Alexandria, Falls Church and part of of Fairfax County.