The front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., released the first television ad of the race on Thursday, less than two months from the primary.
Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, one of 10 Democrats running in the June 10 primary, touts his commitment to women's issues, such as abortion rights and equal pay, in the 30-second spot.
"I was in the Senate when Don Beyer was lieutenant governor and saw him in action. There is no one I would trust more than Don Beyer with protecting a woman's right to choose," former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple says in ad.
Women's issues have been a hallmark of Beyer's campaign for this district, located in Arlington and Alexandria.
The ad is backed by a six-figure buy, according to a release from the campaign.
Beyer is the only candidate in the race with ample funds to make a significant media buy this early in the race. Airtime is expensive in the pricey Washington, D.C., media market.
Beyer, who also owns a number of car dealerships that bear his name in Alexandria, raised $672,000 in the first quarter and had $450,000 in cash on hand as of March 31.
Other Democrats in the field include state Sen. Adam Ebbin, state Dels. Patrick Hope and Charniele Herring, and radio show host Mark Levine, among others.
As of March 31, Ebbin had $115,000 in cash on hand, Hope had $139,00 in the bank and Levine had $300,000 — which included a $250,000 loan to his campaign.
Whoever emerges from the Democratic primary is the heavy favorite in the general election in November. President Barack Obama won here in 2012 by a 37-point margin