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Moran Focuses On Issues For Tuesday's Primary

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Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., speaks at an election night event in Vienna, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006.
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., speaks at an election night event in Vienna, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006.

After months on the campaign trail, Bruce Shuttleworth's sport coat hangs off him. The short, bald former Navy pilot is running a long-shot race against 11-term Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.).

Sitting in his sunroom in North Arlington, Shuttleworth explains why he's in the race.

"It's not just Jim Moran, but I think he's highly emblematic of a Congress that's gone off the rails when it comes to ethical tomfoolery," says Shuttleworth.

The challenger has tried to focus the contest on what he says are ethical lapses by Moran, such as a $450,000 loan consolidation Moran received right before supporting bankruptcy reform that make it more difficult for people to get such consolidations and avoid bankruptcy.

Rep. Moran laughs off that charge.

"But it was 10.5 percent," says Moran of the interest rate in that case. "That was hardly a sweetheart deal."

The accusations from Shuttleworth have been distracting, Moran argues.

"You know, I make many mistakes," he says. "Sometimes I vote for things that I later regret when I have more information. And I wish we could have a debate sometimes on the issues that matter instead of bogus personal attacks."

On the issues, even Shuttleworth admits there isn't a lot of distance between the two progressive Democrats.

"Certainly Rep. Moran votes the right way on a lot of social issues," he says. "Certainly he's been a very energetic congressman. But I've been disappointed that no other elected officials decided to challenge somebody that I believe needs to be challenged."

Moran's incumbency advantage has helped him raise five times more money for his campaign than Shuttleworth, which has analysts expecting him to easily win.

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