Patrick Moran, son of Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, has resigned from his father's reelection campaign.
"Effective immediately, I have resigned from the Moran for Congress campaign," Patrick Moran said in an email.
The resignation follows the release of a near 27-minute video filmed in various locations in Arlington's Courthouse community in which the younger Moran apparently talks with someone posing as a supporter about skirting new voter identification laws.
The video was released by conservative activist James O'Keefe, whose work has been discredited in the past.
In it, the videographer continuously prompts the younger Moran for advice on how best to "vote for" 100 names of inactive voters from Northern Virginia to Richmond. Moran, after suggesting his energy would be better spent on traditional — and legal — get-out-the-vote efforts, tells the man that he would need forged documents, such as utility bills, and that he should call the people, perhaps posing as a pollster, to make sure they aren't, in fact, going to vote.
A voice message and email to the Moran campaign was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday night, the campaign released the following statement:
"Patrick is well liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team. This incident, however, was clearly an error in judgment. The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately."
In a statement from Patrick Moran obtained by the Associated Press, Patrick Moran said he resigned because he didn't want to be a "distraction" during the upcoming election:
"At no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior.
“At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him. In hindsight, I should have immediately walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior, joking or not.”
Arlington County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Lieberman sent the following statement to Patch:
"Arlington Democrats condemn any form of voter fraud. Any allegations that such conduct has been condoned — especially in Arlington — is something we take very seriously. We are concerned by the apparent remarks of Pat Moran in the hidden-camera video arranged by Mr. O’Keefe. While we do yet not know Pat Moran’s response to the video and Mr. O’Keefe’s allegations, we understand that Pat Moran has resigned from the Moran campaign, and we have asked him not to return to our offices. The Arlington Democrats are committed to making sure that all voters have a full and fair ability to cast their votes in accordance with applicable laws, and that commitment will not change."
Republican Patrick Murray, who is challenging Jim Moran for his seat, released the following statement:
"After seeing this video on several news sites, I am very concerned about the campaign activities of my opponent. While it is not clear whether or not there was any wrongdoing, I hope that local, state and federal election officials will look into this matter immediately.
"The integrity of our nation is at stake, and it appears that my opponent's campaign seems prepared to undermine free and fair elections right here in Virginia.
"Sadly, anyone who is familiar with Jim Moran will not be surprised by this. The truth is that Moran has a long track record of hyper partisan behavior, racially charged comments and an infamous anger management problem. So this is more of the same embarrassing behavior that we've come to expect from Jim Moran and his campaign."
Late Wednesday, independent congressional candidate Jason Howell released the following statement:
"From the very beginning, our campaign has been about giving my neighbors the opportunity to vote for someone rather than merely against Jim Moran. I was saddened watching video of the apparent sting operation on Patrick. The Moran campaign may now have many distracting, legal and ethical questions to answer. Our campaign is about my generation taking responsibility for the systemic political and economic challenges we face as a country. We must do better. If you elect me on November 6th, a business owner, community volunteer, former accountant and jobs recruiter, we will do better."
Fairfax County Republican Committee Chairman Jay McConville released a statement calling the video "extremely troubling."
"While it is unclear yet what laws may have been violated, what is clear is that a high-level member of Congressman Moran's staff, who happens to be his son, was at the very least receptive to the idea of one person fraudulently voting in the name of 100 other registered voters in order to help Democratic candidates," he said in his statement.
This article has been updated.