Patrick Hope, an Arlington Democrat and health care attorney, announced Thursday that he has formed an exploratory committee for Virginia's 8th Congressional District, a seat that will be up for grabs in November following the exit of U.S. Rep. Jim Moran.
"The 8th District needs a Representative who is able to begin rebuilding seniority and is ready to be effective," Hope said in a statement. "… We must have a proven progressive leader as our Democratic nominee in the 8th District. We also need a nominee who will be ready to be effective on day one and able to build the necessary seniority that will be so crucial to our region."
Hope is currently serving his third term in the House of Delegates, representing Ballston, Westover, Tara-Leeway Heights, Buckingham, Ashton Heights and Arlington Views, among other Arlington neighborhoods. He is the only one of Arlington's four delegates whose district does not stretch beyond the county line.
As Patch reported Wednesday, Hope's announcement was expected this week. He was not immediately available for comment for this article Thursday, as the House convened at noon.
So far, the only other Democrat to announce a bid for Moran's seat is Bruce Shuttleworth, a former Navy fighter pilot and self-described feminist who is also from Arlington.
A bevy of Democrats could announce their intentions in upcoming weeks, potentially pitting current and former elected officials who have worked together for years against one another.
State Sen. Adam Ebbin, an Alexandria Democrat whose district includes a portion of Arlington and Fairfax counties, told Patch last week that he is giving "serious consideration" to running.
Other potential candidates in the Democrat-heavy district include former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley, current Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman and Alexandria Del. Charniele Herring, Arlington Del. Alfonso Lopez, Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay and former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, among others.
Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette told Patch Wednesday that he had decided against running for the seat, despite encouragement from friends and colleagues.
The 8th Congressional District includes much of Northern Virginia, from McLean to Woodbridge, following the Potomac River on one side and stretching over to Falls Church and parts of Annandale and Springfield on the other.