Gay Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) officially tossed his hat in the ring on Thursday as a candidate for the Northern Virginia U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Jim Moran.
Ebbin joins seven other declared candidates running in the June 10 Democratic primary for a seat representing the strongly Democratic-leaning 8th Congressional District. The district includes parts of Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax County.
Other Democrats are expected to enter the race in a contest where the winner of the primary is considered the odds-on favorite to win the general election in November. All of the declared and potential candidates that have surfaced so far are supporters of LGBT rights.
“Today, I am excited to announce that I will be running to succeed Congressman Moran,” Ebbin said in a statement. “For over a decade in Richmond, I’ve been a strong voice for progressive values who’s gotten results. I’ve fought to end human trafficking, to strengthen protections for seniors and the disabled, to ensure LGBT equality and to expand Medicaid in Virginia,” he said.
On the same day Ebbin announced his candidacy Alexandria Mayor William Euille declared his candidacy for the congressional seat.
Earlier this week gay public relations executive Bob Witeck of Arlington said he was considering running for the seat, raising the possibility that two openly gay candidates might be among the contenders for Moran’s seat.
Last week, Jay Fisette, chair of the Arlington County Board, who’s gay and who many considered a possible candidate for the congressional seat, announced he would not be running.
Others who have formally declared their candidacies include Don Beyer, the former Virginia lieutenant governor; and state Dels. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax), Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) and Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington). Also running is businessman Bruce Shuttleworth, who lost to Moran in the 2012 Democratic primary.
On the day of his announcement, Ebbin launched a campaign website, www.ebbin.com, and sent out a fundraising email to potential voters that includes a video of Ebbin discussing the issues he would work for if elected.
“In Congress, I will work with President Obama to protect the Affordable Care Act and ensure access to quality health care,” he said. “I will protect federal workers from mean-spirited attacks. I will work alongside representatives from every state and political party to raise the minimum wage, fight climate change, and ensure that we never abandon the promise of Social Security and Medicare,” he said.