Alexandria Del. Charniele Herring formally announced Thursday her candidacy for Virginia's 8th Congressional District, a seat that opened up last week when U.S. Rep. Jim Moran said he would not seek reelection.
“Today we need leaders who are willing to champion progressive values while still being able to reach across the aisle to find common-sense solutions for the challenges our nation faces,” Herring said in a statement. “If elected, I will continue the good works of Congressman Jim Moran to foster the economic development of Northern Virginia, address the needs of our veterans, work for access to affordable healthcare, and protect the privacy of a woman and her healthcare decisions.”
Herring has represented the state’s 46th District — which stretches from the King Street-Old Town Metro Station to Alexandria's West End — in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2009. She is currently the Minority Whip in the state House. She is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia to enter the race.
Herring’s announcement comes the same day Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, said he is forming of an exploratory committee for the same congressional district.
Bruce Shuttleworth, a former Navy fighter pilot and self-described feminist, is the only other candidate to have announced a bid.
A bevy of Democrats could announce their intentions in upcoming weeks, potentially pitting current and former elected officials who have worked together for years against one another.
State Sen. Adam Ebbin, an Alexandria Democrat whose district includes a portion of Arlington and Fairfax counties, told Patch last week that he is giving "serious consideration" to running.
Other potential candidates in the Democrat-heavy district include former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley, current Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, Arlington Del. Alfonso Lopez, Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay and former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, among others.
The 8th Congressional District includes much of Northern Virginia, from McLean to Woodbridge, following the Potomac River on one side and stretching over to Falls Church and parts of Annandale and Springfield on the other.