There is a huge field of candidates looking to replace long-time Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.).
The deadline for Virginia Democrats to throw their hat into the ring for the campaign to replace longtime Congressman Jim Moran has passed. The ballot will have an unprecedented eleven candidates.
Here's the list: Former Lt. Gov Don Beyer, former Urban League of Northern Virginia President Lavern Chatman, Alexandria state Sen. Adam Ebbin, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, Alexandria Del. Charniele Herring, Arlington Del. Patrick Hope, Alexandria Planning Commissioner Derek Hyra, businessman Satish Korpe, radio personality Mark Levine, Arlington Del. Alfonso Lopez, and former Navy pilot Bruce Shuttleworth.
One candidate already dropped out, and another failed to submit the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.
"You don't usually have the number of people who are involved in this race," says Geoff Skelley, analyst with the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "The Virginia Democratic Party is not weighing in on this. They are very much keeping out of it, probably behind the scenes too."
University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth says Don Beyer probably has the ability to raise the most money, and he has widespread name recognition because of his Volvo dealership. But he adds that doesn't make the former lieutenant governor a front-runner.
"He was a name that would be known to many of the parents of today's voters, not just today's voters," Farnsworth says. "For people under 35, Don Beyer is largely an unknown figure."
This week, the candidates reached their first major milestone in the race: the deadline for the first round of fundraising. The results won't be officially released until later this month, but University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Kyle Kondik says some of the more successful candidates might release the information early.
"Oftentimes the candidates you don't hear about until the actual release date are the ones that aren't very happy with their totals or think their totals won't be perceived well," Kondik says.
The Republicans also have three candidates, although they have chosen to select their nominee in at a convention rather than a primary.