For two times in a row now, it’s been a struggle for former Navy fighter pilot and Arlington businessman Bruce Shuttleworth to get his Democratic primary campaigns for Congress off the ground.
Two years ago, Shuttleworth had to sue the Democratic Party of Virginia to have all his petition signatures acknowledged and to qualify for the ballot as the only contender to Rep. Jim Moran at the time.
Then last week, because of unreliable information the News-Press regrettably relied on, it was reported on these pages that Shuttleworth was not among the 10 candidates who’d qualified for the June 10 8th District Democratic primary ballot to fill the seat now being vacated by Moran.
The good news for the News-Press, Shuttleworth quipped this week, was the large number of people who knew about the error and contacted him about it.
Yes, Mr. Shuttleworth is on the ballot, indeed. And so is Satish Korpe, whom the News-Press also unintentionally omitted. On the other hand, one candidate that the News-Press had on its list as qualifying, Nancy Najarian, in fact did not.
All that is on top of the fact that State Del. Alfonso Lopez dropped out last week, such that the corrected list of candidates still in the running is the following (in no particular order): State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, State Del. Charniele Herring, Virginia Tech professor Derek Hyra, former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer, State Del. Patrick Hope, Alexandria activists Lavern Chatman and Mark Levine and Misters Shuttleworth and Korpe. That’s 10 candidates.
(The News-Press requests that if anyone discovers an error in this list that it be broken to us very slowly and gently. We sincerely loathe and regret any and all errors).
Another yet error in last week’s coverage had Ms. Chapman incorrectly “convicted” in 2001 in what should have been reported as “a judgment against her” in a civil, not a criminal, matter. Also, she had not yet reported her campaign contribution total.
The official list of candidates may still be subject to change, however, when the lists of financial contributions to the campaign through March 31 become public next Tuesday. Two candidates who’ve already dropped out, Del. Lopez and Del. Mark Sickles, said that low contribution numbers already contributed to their decisions.
According to one source close to the party, internal polling shows that, so far, Beyer is the only candidate not in single digits. One informed prediction is that the race may begin to take shape like the recent mayoral primary in Washington, D.C. where one main candidate emerged among the challengers to the front runner.
But, unlike D.C.’s case, the front runner in the 8th District primary, of course, is not plagued with controversy, and voters therefore have no reason in particular to abandon their favorite candidate to deny him the nomination.
Still, it is likely to come down to a three or four-person horse race in the final weeks before the June 10 election day, and the money numbers as of next Tuesday will be a good predictor of who will still be viable for the stretch run.
Already, prospective voters are getting mailers and phone calls from a number of the candidates, and that will only escalate.
In Falls Church, in addition to Beyer’s high profile appearance at the annual banquet of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, Shuttleworth was working the Farmers Market last Saturday, and Euille attended the groundbreaking for the Reserve at Tinner Hill. Ebbin was a guest at the annual LGBT Victory Fund in D.C., where he hoped to gain a lot of financial, if not electoral, support.