In the video, dated Oct. 8 and posted by conservative activist James Oâ€™Keefe, Patrick Moran does not explicitly advocate or condone the workerâ€™s suggestion to cast ballots on behalf of 100 voters he says are unlikely to show up Nov. 6.
Moran, who appears not to know that he is being recorded, attempts to discourage the worker from carrying out the scheme, saying he should instead join get-out-the-vote efforts. But Moran, a campaign field director, also offers guidance on how to possibly skirt Virginiaâ€™s new voter identification laws. He also doesnâ€™t tell the worker not to proceed with his plan.
Moranâ€™s campaign issued a statement, calling it â€œan error in judgment.â€
â€œPatrick is well liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team,â€ Moranâ€™s the statement says. â€œThe campaign has accepted Patrickâ€™s resignation, effective immediately.â€
In a statement, Patrick Moran, 23, said: â€œIn reference to the â€˜Oâ€™Keefeâ€™ video, 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.
â€œIn 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. In regards to my position on the campaign, I have stepped down because I do not want to be a distraction during this yearâ€™s critical election.â€
James Moran (D-Va.) was first elected to the House in 1990. The veteranâ€™s district includes Arlington County, Alexandria, Falls Church and portions of Fairfax County.
State Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, his brother, called the incident â€œa mistake.â€
â€œPatrick Moran is my nephew and a good kid,â€ Brian Moran said in a statement. â€œHe has taken responsibility and has stepped down from the Moran campaign. The Democratic Party of Virginia is an organization that stands for free and open participation in our elections and we oppose even the appearance of any effort to undermine those values.â€