Wednesday, June 9, 2004

RICHMOND — Rep. James P. Moran’s victory in the state’s only congressional primary on Tuesday sets the November ballot for seven contested U.S. House races which incumbents enter as favorites for re-election.

Mr. Moran took 59 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary over newcomer Andrew M. Rosenberg, a lobbyist and former aide to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat. He was challenged for the nomination after making comments in 2003 about his opposition to the war in Iraq that offended some Jewish voters.

Republican Lisa Marie Cheney, a political novice and missile-defense authority, will challenge Mr. Moran this fall.

Four incumbents, all of them Republicans, have no opponent: Jo Ann S. Davis, 1st District; Robert W. Goodlatte, 6th District; Eric Cantor, 7th District; and Thomas M. Davis III, 11th District.

Rep. Robert C. Scott, Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Winsome Earl Sears, the first black Republican woman elected to the state House of Delegates.

Miss Sears, a former Marine, won in a new Democratic-voting district in 2001, but decided after only one two-year term in Richmond not to seek re-election to the General Assembly. She faces Mr. Scott in a heavily Democratic district that snakes its way from Norfolk through the Peninsula to Richmond.

No other challenger brings as extensive a political portfolio into the general election, but Republican Kevin Triplett brings to his challenge against 9th District Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher his background as a former top NASCAR official. The nation’s premiere stock-car racing circuit is particularly popular in rural southwestern Virginia.

“The only incumbent you could make the slightest argument for [losing] is Rick Boucher, and I would put a sizable bet on that,” said University of Virginia political science professor Larry J. Sabato.

Republican Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. faces a challenge in the 5th District from Al Weed, a Nelson County vineyard owner who has twice unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for a state Senate seat.

Rep. Ed Schrock, Virginia Beach Republican, faces Democrat David B. Ashe in the 2nd District. Newcomer Jonathan Menefee, a Democrat, will oppose Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes in the 4th District. And in the 10th District, Democrat James Socas will challenge Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf.

Neither of Virginia’s two U.S. Senate seats are up for election this year.

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