A Shuttleworth ran and won last month. But it wasn’t Bruce and it wasn’t a political race. It was his son, Bowen, running in the Virginia Hershey Track and Field state championship and reportedly capturing the fastest 400 meter time in the southeastern United States.
Bowen, a 12-year-old rising seventh-grader at Williamsburg Middle School, finished the 400-meter dash in 1:04.52, almost a full four seconds ahead of the second place runner at the event. The time was the fastest in the U.S. Southeast, according to Bruce Shuttleworth, and qualified him for a spot in the Hershey’s North American Championship on Aug. 2 in Hershey, Pa.
It wasn’t the only time Bowen has found the top of the podium at the state championships. He teamed with his twin brother, Reece, and fellow Arlington pre-teens George Brown and Sean Conley, to take home the 4×100-meter relay title in 55.84 seconds, again almost a full four seconds before the next closest team. In 2010, as a 10-year-old, Bowen Shuttleworth won the 100-meter dash at the same meet.
It’s the 37th running of the Hershey’s North American championships, but, according to Bruce Shuttleworth, Bowen is the first ever runner from Arlington to qualify. Boys and girls between ages 9 and 14 are eligible to compete, with age groups divided between 9 and 10 year olds, 11 and 12 year olds and 13 and 14 year olds.
Photo courtesy Bruce Shuttleworth
Booze Delivery Service Coming to N. Va. — Ultra, a web-based service that facilitates the delivery of beer, wine and liquor, is launching this week in D.C. and is planning on launching in Northern Virginia “within a couple of weeks.” Ultra promises that most orders will be delivered in 30-60 minutes. The deliveries are made by licensed stores that partner with the company. [Washington Business Journal]
Shuttleworth Releases Poll Results — Former Democratic congressional candidate Bruce Shuttleworth has shared the results of a district-wide poll his campaign conducted earlier this month. The poll shows Don Beyer well in the lead among likely voters, but it also shows a sizable group of undecided voters. Shuttleworth dropped out of the race after the poll results came in, concluding that even if he “went negative” against Beyer he could not overcome the former Va. lieutenant governor’s lead. [Blue Virginia]
Congressional Candidates to Debate — The seven remaining Democrats in the congressional race will face off tomorrow (Friday) in a debate at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the NRECA building (4301 Wilson Blvd) and is open to the public. [InsideNova]
Arlington Issues $105 Million in Bonds — Arlington County yesterday issued $105 million in bonds at an average interest rate of 2.8 percent. The bonds will be used to fund capital contributions for Metro, Neighborhood Conservation projects, WalkArlington, BikeArlington, ConnectArlington; street paving, utility projects and Arlington Public Schools projects. The county will also save nearly $2 million thanks to refunding prior debt at a lower interest rate. [Arlington County]
Shuttleworth Drops Out of Congressional Race — Arlington resident Bruce Shuttleworth has dropped out of the still-crowded race for Congress. There are now 7 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Rep. Jim Moran. Of those, 6 are from Alexandria and only Del. Patrick Hope is from Arlington. [Blue Virginia]
Garvey Phones It In, Literally — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, who was injured on Friday in a bicycle accident, voted and participated in Tuesday’s County Board meeting via phone. It’s the first time that has been done in Arlington — Virginia law only recently changed to allow board members to participate in meetings via phone in certain circumstances. [InsideNova]
Clarendon Church Turns 105 — The Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street) will celebrate its 105th anniversary on Sunday. The church will hold a special anniversary worship service at 11:00 a.m. Originally formed as Clarendon Baptist Church in 1909, the church has seen many changes in its 105 years. One recent change was the new sanctuary that was completed in 2012, as part of a controversial deal that added an 8-story affordable apartment complex above the church.
High Streetcar Ridership Projected — While critics bash the combined $585 million estimated cost of the Crystal City and Columbia Pike streetcar lines, streetcar proponents are calling attention to ridership projections. With 37,100 daily riders by 2035, the combined streetcar system is projected to serve more riders than MARC, VRE and the light rail systems in Baltimore, San Jose, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle and Norfolk. [Greater Greater Washington]
Truck Day at the Library on Saturday — Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) is again inviting children “to get up-close and personal with a menagerie of trucks and buses” in the library parking lot. Truck Day will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. There will also be transportation-related crafts inside the library auditorium. The library is warning nearby residents to expect to hear some noise from the trucks and the kids during the event. [Arlington Public Library]
The candidates — Del. Charniele Herring, Mark Levine, state Sen. Adam Ebbin, Bruce Shuttleworth, Satish Korpe, Lavern Chatman, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, Del. Patrick Hope, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille and Derek Hyra — each only had time for an opening statement, answers to two questions and a one-minute closing statement. The debate lasted two hours.
The candidates are vying to fill the retiring Rep. Jim Moran’s seat in Congress. Virginia’s Eighth District is considered a deeply blue, safe Democratic seat — thus its attractiveness to a field of candidates trying to pounce on the rare political opportunity.
Moran, who’s been the 8th District’s representative since 1991, started the night with 10 minutes of remarks, touching on his service and the benefits of representing Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. He said he won’t be endorsing any of the Democrats running in the June 10 primary.
“It’s a great district, and it’s kind of a microcosm of this country,” he said. “In this district, you have far more latitude than any other district in the country, as far as I’m aware of, because the constituency in this district is well-educated, wants to understand things, is extraordinarily open-minded if you want to make a case. I’ve found that I have far more latitude than many of my colleagues.”
The candidates were asked what their first priority would be in Congress, and what their top foreign policy concern is. Many candidates touched on consensus topics among Democrats — women’s reproductive rights, climate change and economic development — while they tried to distinguish themselves from the other candidates.
“We’re all Democrats here and I respect my colleagues greatly, but we all bring different things to this race,” Beyer, who is the frontrunner in polling and fundraising, said in his opening statement. “As a businessman, lieutenant governor and ambassador, I have a proven record, the ideas and the energy to hit the ground running.”
Sitting to Beyer’s left was Hope, the top polling Arlington-based candidate, who defended the Affordable Care Act’s rollout and said the law didn’t go far enough.
“There are some people on this dais who believe the Affordable Care Act has flaws,” Hope said. “I don’t believe the Affordable Care Act has flaws, except one: it did not expand coverage to every single American. Even if Virginia and other states expand Medicaid to the poorest people in their states, we will still have 20 million Americans who do not have health insurance.”
Euille, when discussing foreign policy, touched on his foreign travels and the visitors who have come to Alexandria to ask him about politics. He said his guiding principle in foreign policy is seeking world peace.
“I will never put out troops in combat,” he said. “I will never support a war, because I think it’s the wrong thing to be doing. We need to make certain that the only time we use our troops to fight would be in defense of our own borders.”
Levine, a liberal talk radio host who reminded the capacity crowd of his penchant for pulling out his pocket U.S. Constitution, distanced himself from Euille and some of the other candidates on stage by advocating for a more aggressive military stance.
“We are an ally of NATO and countries look to us for support,” Levine said. “And when Russia is busy invading Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland are nervous, and they look to us for support. A treaty obligation is vitally important, and we should go to war, if we have to, if a NATO country is attacked.”
Shuttleworth, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) in the 2012 Democratic primary, announced tonight that he’s running in this year’s sure-to-be crowded Democratic primary. The announcement follows the news Wednesday morning that the 12-term Congressman is not running for reelection.
Shuttleworth, a 48-year-old Navy veteran, has declared himself a “diversity candidate” and said in a statement that he is “a fighter pilot and a feminist.”
“I don’t think that women have been treated equally throughout history,” he told ARLnow.com. “I think we’d be in much better position if we did treat women more equally and if more women were in positions of power.”
“I’m completely for equal rights in all things, no one is more pro-choice than I am,” he said, adding that he would fight for equal pay for women if elected to Congress.
On issues like sexual assault in the military, Shuttleworth said “it’s going to be the men who have to take a decisive, bold leadership role in making sure people know it’s not okay to mistreat any minority, most especially women.”
“I will be the loudest voice in the land for equal rights for all minorities to include our transgender brothers and sisters,” he said in the statement. “I cannot be more committed to being anti-bullying.”
Shuttleworth said he himself was bullied while a student leader at the Naval Academy. The bullying stemmed from a time at when he reported classmates having a drinking party in a room next door, a serious offense at the school. After that, Shuttleworth said, he was “threatened with bodily harm,” broken light bulbs were placed in his bed and his car was vandalized. The bullying followed him “for years,” even while in naval service, but Shuttleworth said he would do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.
“[I] take ethics and integrity incredibly seriously, and that’s the same kind of integrity i’m going to bring to the United States Congress,” he said, later calling Congress “an institution that has failed America.”
The full statement from Shuttleworth, after the jump.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) raised more than $336,000 in the second quarter of 2013, a large haul considering it’s for an election that’s not happening until 2014 and doesn’t yet include a another announced candidate.
Moran, who is in the first year of his 12th term, now has $577,115 cash on hand through two quarters of fundraising, according to the Federal Election Commission. His campaign spent $121,523 in the quarter.
Moran was able to raise a healthy amount of funds despite not yet having a declared challenger. Mike Ginsberg, the chair of Virginia’s 8th District Republican Committee, said no candidates have expressed interest in running for the seat Moran has held since 1991, but he “suspects we’ll have a few come out in the fall.”
In last year’s election, Moran was challenged by Bruce Shuttleworth in the Democratic primary. Shuttleworth said he expects to announce his decision on whether to run again in the fall.
“I am very strongly leaning in one direction, but I don’t want to make an official announcement until the fall,” he told ARLnow.com.
Shuttleworth said he doesn’t want to take attention away from the statewide races for the governor’s office and the House of Delegates. Shuttleworth announced his candidacy last February, just four months before the June primary.
“You clearly need to jump in earlier than I did last year,” he said.
The biggest donors to Moran, who sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, were the political action committees of large defense contractors. Among the boldfaced names and organizations donating to Moran in the quarter ending June 30 were:
- Connecticut billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II and his wife — $5,000
- Lobbyist Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group — $1,500
- Brian Moran, the congressman’s brother and former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia — $1,075
- The Chickasaw Nation, the Oklahoma-based Native American tribe — $1,000
- Lockheed Martin PAC — $10,000
- Computer Sciences Corporation PAC — $10,000
- ManTech International PAC — $6,500
- Raytheon PAC — $5,000
- Boeing PAC — $5,000
- Unisys PAC — $5,000
- Electrical Contractors PAC — $5,000
- Harris Corporation PAC — $4,000
- Home Depot PAC — $2,500
Organizations representing U.S. Postal Service employees collectively donated $5,500 during the quarter.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting in the Eighth District of Virginia — which includes Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County — Moran received 74 percent of the vote to Shuttleworth’s 26 percent.
In Arlington, Moran captured a 2-to-1 to 3-to-1 advantage in most precincts. One notable exception is the Republican-heavy Madison precinct, near Shuttleworth’s home in the Old Glebe neighborhood of north Arlington. Shuttleworth received 196 votes from Madison precinct voters, to 182 votes for Moran.
In the Virginia Republican U.S. Senate primary, George Allen has been declared the winner.
Last week we asked the two Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-500 word essay on why the county’s residents should vote for them during tomorrow’s (Tuesday, June 12) primary.
Here is the unedited response from Bruce Shuttleworth:
To any of the ARLnow community who I may have “robocalled” during your dinner hour — sorry!
I’m Bruce Shuttleworth. I’m running for Congress, and I’d be honored to earn your support. I say that about a thousand times a day at Metros, Farmer’s Markets and gatherings across the 8th District. Now I say it to you — and I deeply mean it. Your vote is incredibly important and I know that you don’t cast it idly.
I think serving in Congress is incredibly important too; and I won’t ever forget that it isn’t my office — it is yours. And you will always be welcome in it.
If I am so honored to become your Congressman, I will protect the vulnerable. And fellow Arlingtonians, we are all vulnerable. If you breathe air and need healthcare, you are vulnerable.
Both my parents died of lung cancer, both as non-smokers. I see the cost of unclean air in terms of life and death — and I intend to do something about it.
If America can show the determination and grit to put man on the moon in the 1960s, then we can certainly build a National energy supergrid that will finally enable the effective use of clean, green technologies. That technology exists today. But it is drowned out by the big money of oil, gas and coal — and our Congress that takes it.
At stake is nothing but air quality, climate change, energy security, jobs, better health and more than a hundred billion dollars a year in defense department savings when we finally don’t have to protect our foreign sources of oil.
Want to do something nice for your kids? Do this. We simply must break our addiction to carbon-based fuels — it is slowly killing us.
And if you need healthcare, you are vulnerable. We are in a treatment trap where too many fee-for-service doctors over treat (which is dangerous) and too many insurance providers under treat (which is pathetic). Caught in the middle are the suffering citizens paying too much and getting too little — with 45,000 of us dying unnecessarily each year.
This is a life and death issue; this is about promoting the general welfare.
Universal Healthcare is within reach; but it is being drowned out by the big money of big insurance – and our Congress that takes it.
But I don’t blame special interests for representing their special interests. This is America and free speech is broad and deep. I blame our Congress for not keeping conflicts of interest at arm’s length. In no other organization would this be tolerated — not with our CEO’s, not with our Judges, not with our President.
For all the great things we want to accomplish — we must reform Congress. I encourage the American People to have no tolerance for this ethical tomfoolery. If we want a different result, then we will need different Congressmen. With your support, and perhaps that of your friends, I’ll be honored to lead this effort.
Yesterday the Democratic blog Blue Virginia reported that the call claimed Shuttleworth was “doing a conference call… with [Democratic National Committee] Chairwoman [Rep.] Debbie Wasserman Schultz on women’s issues.” In reality, Blue Virginia blogger Lowell Feld wrote, “this call was simply ‘one of several monthly constituency caucus calls the Chair is making this week, with several thousand total participants.'”
In response, the Shuttleworth camp released a statement it sent to to Blue Virginia.
There was no intent to misrepresent the candidate’s status on the call as anything other than a participant.
In light of the ongoing attacks on Women’s rights in this country by the political right wing, Bruce Shuttleworth is encouraged by the DNC Chair’s initiative to energize women in support of the only party which protects their rights — the Democratic Party. That you don’t think it is important to widely share this initiative is a shame.
Bruce Shuttleworth will continue to encourage the citizens of VA-8 to get active and engaged and to fight for social and economic justice for all citizens. In fact, there will be another robocall going out tonight that will encourage Latino voters to participate in the White House Hispanic Community Action Summit this weekend in the District. We think it is important to support the President and get the Latino community engaged.
The campaign also released a transcript of the call (after the jump). Shuttleworth will face incumbent Rep. Jim Moran in the Democratic primary this coming Tuesday, June 12.
Arlington’s two Democratic congressional candidates — incumbent Jim Moran and challenger Bruce Shuttleworth — are racking up some endorsements ahead of the primaries on June 12.
This week, Shuttleworth received an endorsement from civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis.
“I’ve been involved in Civil Rights and the Democratic Party for over 50 years in Virginia and across America. Today, we need a Progressive Democrat like Bruce Shuttleworth to be in the Congress,” Chavis said.
“Moran has precipitated a contentious relationship with the African American community and has failed to show adequate leadership in representing the 99% over the 1% big business interests that have massively contributed to his campaign,” Chavis added. “I am wholly convinced that Bruce Shuttleworth will never compromise his values – and that is why I am supporting him. Bruce Shuttleworth is a proven ethical leader.”
Last week, Moran received an endorsement from the LGBT Democrats of America PAC.
“Congressman Moran has a long history as a champion for our cause and devoted friend of our community,” said Tiffany M. Joslyn, PAC President. “His positions on issues important to LGBT Virginians, combined with his actual record of sponsorship on and votes for legislation supporting LGBT equality, make him the clear choice for our community.”
“The fact that both candidates in this primary sought the endorsement of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC is a very positive sign for both the Democratic Party and Virginia,” said Joel McDonald, PAC President-Elect. “While both Moran and Shuttleworth agreed with our positions on the issues, Moran’s longtime dedication to, and record of, fighting against discrimination was the deciding factor.”
Update at 4:40 p.m. — A spokesman for the Moran campaign says the congressman has also received endorsements this year from the Sierra Club, the International Association of Firefighters, Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner, Gov. Tim Kaine, and state Sen. Adam Ebbin. The Shuttleworth campaign has a list of endorsements on its website.
‘Flags-In’ Ceremony at Arlington National — As they have done every year since 1948, members of the “Old Guard,” 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, placed an American flag at every grave in Arlington National Cemetery yesterday evening. The annual “Flags-In” ceremony is held each year in advance of Memorial Day weekend. The flags will be removed after Memorial Day. [Houston Chronicle]
Shuttleworth Campaign Profiled — Bruce Shuttleworth, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Jim Moran for the Eighth District Democratic congressional nomination, says he’s running against the 11-term congressman because of alleged ethics violations. “I think he votes the right way on social values, but he brazenly embraces conflicts of interest, and I think that’s unacceptable,” Shuttleworth told the Washington Post. Shuttleworth’s campaign, however, seems like a long shot — in March a group called the Campaign for Primary Accountability pulled its support of Shuttleworth to focus on “races where challengers understand what they must do to prevail.” [Washington Post]
Guas Returns to New Orleans — Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) owner David Guas has returned to his native New Orleans — for the weekend. Guas will be appearing at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a food festival, where he will demonstrate how to make “crawfish cheesecake” and then serve as a judge for the fifth annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-off. Guas is described by his hometown newspaper as “a New Orleans-native, Harley-riding, duck-hunting, bass-fishing chef.” [New Orleans Times-Picayune]
Zapatat Tackles Tough Tattoo Removals — Ballston-based Zapatat (820 N. Pollard Street) has already attracted some 1,500 clients for its laser tattoo removal service. The business is now experimenting with a new laser removal process that is purported to remove tattoos in a quarter of the time of the usual method. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Arlington resident Bruce Shuttleworth, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Jim Moran for the Eighth District Democratic congressional nomination, has withdrawn a lawsuit he filed after initially being told he did not qualify for the ballot.
Shuttleworth was eventually allowed on the June 12 primary ballot, but only after he filed the lawsuit. That led him to accuse local Democratic officials of “corruption.” (A charge the state Democratic party vehemently disputed.)
In withdrawing the lawsuit, Shuttleworth says he still “intends to hold the party fully accountable for its practices regarding ballot access.”
The campaign issued the following statement last night.
Democratic Congressional Candidate, Bruce Shuttleworth today has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against Brian Moran and several Democratic operatives after being certified for the Virginia District 8 Democratic primary ballot.
Bruce Shuttleworth stated, “the convenient turnaround when faced with a Federal lawsuit does not provide answers to how petitions in a Congressional race in America can simply go missing. We were forced to file suit when the Virginia Democratic Party proved unresponsive, at great personal expense. It is disappointing that I was required to invest so much time and money to fight for our inalienable right for an honest democratic process.”
Candidate Shuttleworth has reached out repeatedly to the party and to Jim Moran to attempt to remove the pall over the party’s ballot access process without the need for court review, but was rebuffed. In the interest of ceasing further deployment of resources, which the VA Democratic Party has not yet offered to repay, the case is being voluntarily dismissed. Notwithstanding today’s dismissal, Bruce Shuttleworth intends to hold the party fully accountable for its practices regarding ballot access. His dismissal of this case does not prejudice him from bringing further claims related to the irregularities of the party’s signature review process.
Bruce Shuttleworth is focused on providing ethical and practical solutions for the people of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District. Candidate Shuttleworth understands the power of free markets but is committed to people first and understands the real needs of his community. Lip service and fake compassion while cosying up to big business is not his style. Bruce Shuttleworth believes public service is his duty, not a career option.
This year there is an alternative to Jim Moran, a 22 year incumbent. This year a challenger has squeezed through to the ballot. This year, the people of VA-8 can choose a real progressive by voting for Bruce Shuttleworth on June 12th, not an opportunist who is a Blue Dog one day (DLC–Democratic Leadership Council) and a progressive the next. Bruce Shuttleworth has served his country with passion and integrity. While he is the underdog against the Moran machine, Bruce believes in the power of the grassroots movement.
New Indian Eatery Coming to R-B Corridor? — The Fairfax-based Indian restaurant Curry Mantra is scouting out real estate along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in hopes of opening two new “Curry Mantra Express” carryout restaurants by the end of the year. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Shuttleworth Recruits Republicans — Bruce Shuttleworth, the Arlington businessman who’s challenging long-time incumbent Rep. Jim Moran for the Democratic nomination for Congress, is recruiting Republicans to vote for him in the June 12 primary. The Democratic blog Blue Virginia posted video of Shuttleworth asking for the vote of members of the Falls Church Republican Committee. [Blue Virginia]
GOP Looks for County Board Candidate — Arlington County Republicans are still trying to recruit a candidate to challenge Democrat Libby Garvey in November’s County Board election. Mark Kelly, who lost to Garvey in the recent County Board special election, says he doesn’t plan to run again this year. June 12 is the filing deadline to get on the November ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Local Bank Makes ‘Most Trustworthy’ List — Virginia Commerce Bancorp, the locally-based parent company of Virginia Commerce Bank, was named to the Forbes magazine list of “America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.” [BusinessWire]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
The Bruce Shuttleworth for Congress campaign has parted ways with a political consultant following a rift over a press conference in which Shuttleworth accused primary opponent Rep. Jim Moran (D) of “corruption.”
Anthony Dale confirmed to ARLnow.com this morning that he and his political consulting firm are no longer working for the Shuttleworth campaign. He described his departure from the campaign as a decision that he initiated, though the campaign is insisting that Dale “did not quit but was terminated for cause by the campaign on April 11.”
Dale said he started to disassociate himself from the campaign following an April 10 press conference in which Shuttleworth suggested that “smoke-filled backroom, Tammany Hall corruption” was behind a mix-up that initially kept his name off the June 12 Democratic primary ballot.
“We were unaware that they were going to hold a press conference… we had no part in what they did in that press conference,” Dale told ARLnow.com. “We just feel that the negative rhetoric that they continue to [engage in] is not in keeping with our company’s mission and values.”
In an email published by the Democratic blog Blue Virginia yesterday, Dale apologized for “not properly vetting Mr. Shuttleworth.”
“While I do believe that we should have an open and inviting election process… I do not believe such a process should come at the expense of attacking someone’s personal life or promoting unsubstantiated, false allegations,” Dale wrote.
In response, the Shuttleworth campaign sent out a press release criticizing Dale and emphasizing that he was “a field consultant, never a strategist, for the campaign.”
“Mr. Dale has been full of surprises during his time with the campaign, this most recent ill-advised letter is simply par for the course,” the press release said. “The campaign will not allow Mr. Dale, whose motivations for such egregious and ongoing unprofessional behavior are unclear, to distract the message of accountability, integrity and progressive values from reaching the voters of VA-8.”
The press release also said that Dale was hired after he “approached the campaign and offered his services claiming that he had serious issues with Jim Moran’s ethical lapses and disparaging comments about ethnic minorities.” Dale called that statement “completely inaccurate” and added that the campaign “had unrealistic goals of what we were expected to [accomplish].”
State Democratic officials say an error, not corruption, was the reason why Democratic congressional challenger Bruce Shuttleworth was initially not allowed on the 8th District primary ballot.
Officials announced yesterday that Shuttleworth had, in fact, submitted the necessary number of signatures to quality for the ballot, after they determined last week that he was 18 signatures short. At a press conference today, Shuttleworth charged that his opponent, Rep. Jim Moran, was somehow behind the snafu.
In a statement, a Moran spokesman didn’t respond directly to the allegations, but said the campaign hoped that officials would “get to the bottom of the situation.” The campaign also took a shot at one of Shuttleworth’s political backers.
The Moran campaign submitted their petitions well ahead of the deadline to avoid any last minute problems. It’s a deep concern that petitions appear to have been misplaced by the Fairfax County Registrar’s Office. We urge local officials to get to the bottom of the situation to find out what really happened, to ensure the Democratic process is protected.
For our campaign, nothing has changed. We were fully preparing for a primary, and the coming attacks from the conservative, Texas oil money fueled Super PAC that has stated their intent to try defeat the congressman, who has been a champion of the environment throughout his time in Congress.
Later this afternoon, Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman Brian Coy explained what had happened.
Democratic 8th Congressional District Committee chairwoman Margo Horner, who was named in Shuttleworth’s federal lawsuit challenging the initial petition decision, had passed off the petition signatures to impartial local election officials in Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington, in an effort to avoid the certification process becoming too “politicized,” according to Coy.
Somehow, Coy said, the Fairfax County registrar lost a number of petitions during the process. They only discovered that the petitions had been lost after Arlington County registrar Linda Lindberg notified them that there were Fairfax County signatures within her office’s stack of petitions, according to Coy.
After the error was discovered — which was after Shuttleworth had initially been denied a spot on the ballot — the lost petitions were found, counted, and yesterday afternoon it was determined that Shuttleworth had, in fact, qualified for the ballot. Coy said that correct procedures were followed and denied that there was any intentional effort to leave Shuttleworth off the ballot.
“The results of this process had nothing to do with anything other than whether or not Mr. Shuttleworth had enough signatures,” Coy said. “Any insinuation that the party lost the signatures, that they did anything other than… go above and beyond the procedures that are laid out… is inaccurate.”
Coy added that “the responsibility to certify petitions lies with our congressional district committees” — not centrally with the Democratic Party of Virginia, whose chairman is Brian Moran, the congressman’s brother.