Moran Celebrates 'Bittersweet' Win, Murray 'Proud' of Campaign
Moran, Murray host election parties in Arlington
U.S. Rep. Jim Moran easily held his seat in Virginia's 8th Congressional District on Tuesday, but said it was "bittersweet" victory knowing his Democratic Party was expected to lose ground in the House of Representatives following the other midterm elections.
Moran took 61.01 percent of the vote to top Republican challenger Patrick Murray and claim an 11th term in Congress. Murray, a retired Army colonel who only moved to Northern Virginia relatively recently, claimed 37.31 percent. Green Party candidate Ron Fisher took 1.41 percent.
"We had a terrific organization. It appears pretty clear we will have won tonight," Moran said shortly before 9 p.m. at the Westin Hotel in Ballston. "But this is going to be a tough night for Democrats, where the ideas of fear and divisiveness will have prevailed over those of hope and unity."
Moran garnered more than 60 percent of the vote for the seventh straight election. Several Moran campaigners expressed fears that the streak would come to an end on Tuesday.
In the end, the 8th District maintained itself as a Democratic stronghold in Virginia.
"Dad's too classy to say it, but it looks like we trounced this guy," said Mary Moran, the Congressman's daughter and campaign manager.
Jim Moran cited Murray's "lack of civic involvement and extreme Tea Party views" as large factors in his defeat.
Moran tempered his words with warnings of tough days ahead for his party. He urged those assembled to stay engaged during the next two years.
"We're going to work with the President to fight efforts to take this country backward," he said.
Though disappointed with the results nationally for his party, Alexandria Democratic Committee Chair Clark Mercer said that the midterm election moved the 8th District into a position of party leadership in the state moving forward.
"We're going to be an anchor in statewide elections," Mercer said. "If we want to reelect Jim Webb in the Senate, if we want to reelect Obama, if we want to take the Governor's Mansion in 2013, the 8th District is going to have to lead the way."
Murray Remains Happy and Proud Following Loss
With Fox News on every other TV, Bailey's in Ballston was filled with GOP and 8th Congressional District Republican candidate Patrick Murray's supporters.
More than 100 people at Bailey's cheered as Republican gains were announced Tuesday night, but Murray, a retired Army colonel, earned just 37.31 percent of the vote. The Democratic incumbent, Rep. Jim Moran, claimed 61.01 percent, securing his 11th term in Congress.
"This has been the best experience of my life," Murray said. "We are disappointed that we came up short, but [happy with] this outpouring of support and [proud of] what we've had in the last two months of this campaign and what we've put together."
In his speech to supporters at Bailey's, amid cheers of "We love you, Patrick!" Murray thanked everyone for coming out and quoted Winston Churchill who said, "Never, ever quit."
"You don't build a house without a foundation and what we have is a foundation. I'm not going anywhere and we're not going anywhere," Murray said later. "I'm happy with what's happening across the country and I'm happy with what happened with us tonight, even though I'm disappointed with the outcome."
Supporters of the GOP and Murray at Bailey's were of all ages and walks of life. There were veterans, adults, young adults and a couple of high school students.
"I was born and raised in the 8th District, so I've been alive for almost as long as Moran's been in office. Patrick is a great guy and he's not a politician and he ran a great race and I was happy to support him," said Arlington resident Vanessa Hatcher, 24. "I definitely think the success of the Republicans today reflects on the leadership of this country and how people feel in general, so it's sad Patrick lost, but in its entirety the Republican gain is a good thing."