Thursday, January 06, 2005

Van Landingham Retires

Marian Van Landingham (D-Alexandria), one of the legislature's most consistent progressive voices and its longest-serving woman, is retiring according to the Alexandria Gazette Packet . This isn't really news, as her worsening struggle with cancer became known a weeks ago. But the race to fill her seat has now begun and the Packet has some interesting info.

"Several people have mentioned their interest in running," Van Landingham said. "Many of them are my friends so I am staying out of it for now. We will have to see how things shake out as we get closer to the time for a primary."

While as many as eight Democrats from Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County have expressed some interest, only one had registered with the Voter Registrar as of Tuesday. Elsie Mosqueda, long-time assistant to Brian Moran has thrown her hat in the ring officially.

"Elsie called me and told me she was interested in running," said Mayor William D. Euille. "I am saddened by Marian's announcement and suspect that a number of people will come forward with an interest in running for that seat. We will just have to wait and see what happens. For now, my prayers are with Marian."

I doubt seriously that eight real candidates will emerge. It will probably be around four or five. But the 45th is a heavily-Democratic district and the primary is tantamount to the election so competition will be fierce. The race will be similar to Adam Ebbin's 2003 victory in Arlington when he won with just under 800 votes.

Mosqueda has a slight advantage being affiliated with Brian Moran and I expect she'll win his endorsement. But that doesn't mean that she can raise the money needed to win this race. This thing is wide open to an outsider who can raise upwards of $80,000 in a very short amount of time.
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