Don Beyer tops straw poll for 8th District Congressional seat

Connolly speaks

Connolly addresses the crowd at St. Patrick’s Day fete

Don Beyer’s campaign for the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Jim Moran got a boost this week as Beyer won a straw poll conducted at Rep. Gerry Connolly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Attendees cast their votes in a straw poll measuring support among the 11 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed the retiring Moran as Virginia’s 8th District congressman. Beyer topped the field, followed by Charniele Herring, Lavern Chatman, and Adam Ebbin.

Beyer, the former lieutenant governor and Ambassador to Switzerland, garnered 34 percent of the vote from the assembled Democrats for the 8th Congressional District nomination followed by Herring, a Virginia delegate and former state Democratic Party chair with 13 percent, Chatman, the former NoVA Urban League president with 12 percent, and Ebbin, a state senator, with 11 percent.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille and Virginia Delegates Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez each received 7 percent of the votes cast, while talk show host and lawyer Mark Levine got 6 percent. Candidates Satish Korpe, Bruce Shuttleworth, Nancy Najarian, and Derek Hyra each received 1 percent or less.

Connolly was joined on stage by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Fairfax County supervisors, state senators and delegates, and many other elected officials and candidates from across Northern Virginia,

The annual event began two decades ago as a small gathering in Connolly’s backyard when he first ran for a seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. It is now the largest annual political event in Northern Virginia.

An army of dedicated community activists, local fire fighters, and others come together each year to help stage the Fete on what Connolly calls his “holiest day of the year.”

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.