The field of 11 Democrats running for the 8th congressional District seat is now down to 10. Del. Mark Sickles has decided not to run for Congress, he announced Wednesday night, citing results of a survey he says shows he can't win the primary election coming up June 10.
Sickles, who kicked off his campaign Saturday in Franconia, came in fifth among the 11 Democrats in a straw poll conducted at a fundraiser March 2. He counted endorsements from Fairfax County Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova, state Sen. Toddy Puller, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland.
“I want to pass on my very warm thanks to Chairman Sharon Bulova, Senator Toddy Puller, Supervisor Jeff McKay, Supervisor Gerry Hyland, and so many friends in the Democratic Party for their unqualified support as I explored a campaign to fill the seat of our friend Jim Moran.
"Congressman Moran has been an indispensable asset to our community. It has been an honor to work with him over the years on issues affecting my 43rd Delegate District and the entire region. As he retires from elected public service, I will always be grateful for his support in helping to build the Democratic Party,” said Sickles, the Virginia House Democratic Caucus chair and former chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.
“Last night, I looked at the results of our survey of likely Democratic primary voters with respect to the candidates who have expressed interest in the nomination," he said. "I wish that I could report that there was a clear and viable path to victory for me. While I was heartened by the strong support from those who know me best, I cannot in good conscience continue to ask for support from my friends and political allies knowing the lay of the land.”
“This race is over for me, but there are many talented candidates that might light a spark, inspire, and engage new voters on the way to June 10th," he said. "Anything can happen in a campaign and I look forward to watching it unfold over the next 90 days. I know most of the candidates, wish them well, and look forward to hearing the debates. I also look forward to working with our next Representative – whoever that turns out to be.
"There is so much work to do, both on a regional basis, and to contribute to a better functioning House of Representatives,” Sickles said. “Again, I thank everyone who encouraged me and will be ever grateful for their support.”
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