Former Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Don Beyer on Tuesday easily won the Democratic primary for the commonwealth’s 8th Congressional District to succeed outgoing Congressman Jim Moran.
Beyer defeated state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) by a 46-18 percent margin. Gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) came in third with slightly less than 14 percent of the vote.
Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille received slightly more than eight percent of the vote. Mark Levine, a gay talk show host who served as former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank’s legislative counsel, came in fifth with slightly less than seven percent of the vote.
Ebbin told the Blade after speaking to his supporters at Los Tios Grill in Alexandria that he offered to work with Beyer ahead of the general election in November.
“I’m disappointed for my supporters, but I think we made a great effort,” said Ebbin. “I’m proud of the people who helped me and proud to have been associated with the people who supported me.”
Levine also congratulated Beyer.
Just called @DonBeyerVA to congratulate him on his great victory tonight. Looking forward to working with him as my next Congressman.
— Mark Levine4Congress (@Levine4Congress) June 11, 2014
All of the Democratic candidates who sought to succeed Moran in Congress back marriage rights for same-sex couples and other LGBT-specific issues.
Ebbin, who is the first openly gay person elected to the Virginia General Assembly, earlier this year introduced a bill alongside state Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees. Hope in January introduced a measure that sought to prohibit so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy to minors in the commonwealth.
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in February endorsed Ebbin’s campaign to succeed Moran, but the Alexandria Democrat told the Blade he feels the organization could have done more to support his bid.
“They had indicated this would be a priroity for them,” said Ebbin, noting he raised more than $300,000 during his congressional bid. “It was challenging to get off the ground the way we needed with more active support from them.”
Beyer’s win coincides with Dave Brat defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District in a stunning upset that has sent shockwaves throughout Capitol Hill and the Republican establishment.
Beyer will face Republican Micah Edmond in the general election to succeed Moran who currently represents Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The good news is Don Beyer will not have to serve in Congress with Eric Cantor,” said Ebbin.
The Washington Blade will have more details as they become available.