- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2008

RICHMOND (AP) — Delegate Brian J. Moran will establish a committee today from which he will start a 2009 race for governor, his advisers said yesterday.

Mr. Moran will file papers with the State Board of Elections to create a political action committee, said Mame Reiley, who will direct the PAC.

Mr. Moran, 48, of Alexandria, becomes the second Democrat to publicly state his intent to run for governor. State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds announced his candidacy with a video on his new campaign Web site last month.

Together, it marks the earliest official start of a race for governor in Virginia. The election is still 22 months away. No Republican has publicly announced plans to run.

Mr. Moran will do nothing more today than file the paperwork that allows him to begin raising money and supporting other candidates, said Miss Reiley, a veteran adviser to former Democratic Gov. Mark Warner. After the 2008 General Assembly session, Mr. Moran will establish a campaign committee and formally declare his candidacy.

“This is somebody who can sell and do well statewide,” said Steve Jarding, a PAC adviser whose specialty is making Democrats competitive in rural areas, where Republicans often prevail.

He was the chief strategist for Mr. Warner’s campaign for governor in 2001 and Sen. Jim Webb’s surprise victory over Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006 and sees in Mr. Moran some of their same assets: a base in their Northern Virginia home region, the state’s most populous, and viability downstate.

Mr. Moran was a prosecutor in Arlington County from 1989 to 1995 before winning his Alexandria House of Delegates seat in 1996.

Mr. Moran, the younger brother of U.S. Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, is chairman of the minority Democratic Party caucus in the House of Delegates.

Led by Mr. Moran and House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong, the caucus this year raised and spent $2.9 million in aggressive Democratic campaigns against targeted Republican seats and picked up four seats, the largest Democratic gain in the House since 1975. When the House convenes next week, Democrats will hold 44 of its 100 seats.

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