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Virginia Politics Blog: November 4, 2007 - November 10, 2007

Election Winners

Here are the winners in Tuesday's elections. There were so many that we decided to put the losers in a separate file. Dick Saslaw -- The Senate minority leader from Fairfax succeeded in flipping control of the Senate for only the second time since Reconstruction. Saslaw worked hard to raise money to fund Democratic candidates. Starting in late summer, Saslaw was telling lobbyists and donors that the Democrats would retake the Senate, which convinced them they should give even more money. With his likely elevation to majority leader in January, Saslaw now becomes one of the most influential leaders in Richmond. Joe Abbey- As campaign manager for Sen.-elect J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (D-Fairfax), Abbey helped his candidate rack up a 10-point margin of victory over Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax). Even though Petersen was running in a Democratic-leaning district, Abbey had to go up against seasoned Devolites Davis strategists who...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 9, 2007; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Winners and Losers  
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Election Losers

Losers in Tuesday's elections (see the winners in a separate posting): Michael Bloomberg- New York's mayor decides to test his appeal outside of New York by endorsing Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) because of her support for gun control. But it doesn't appear as if Bloomberg changed many minds. Even worse, Bloomberg had contemplated an independent bid for the White House next year on a platform that includes more gun control. But Devolites Davis' loss demonstrates the issue may not rank high in voters' minds, even in increasingly liberal Northern Virginia. The Family Foundation- With the retirement of Sen. H. Russell Potts (R-Winchester) and several other moderates, the Family Foundation's leaders were hopeful that more of the agenda of social conservatives would make it out of the Senate next year. But with an incoming Democratic majority, they will likely find it's going to be just as hard as ever to...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 9, 2007; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Winners and Losers  
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Parties to Choose Nominees for 1st District Election

Republicans and Democrats will meet tomorrow to pick nominees to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) in a special election Dec. 11. Eleven Republicans will compete at their party's convention in Caroline County. Two Democrats will vie for the nomination at their party's convention in Williamsburg....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 8, 2007; 10:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , Election 2008/Congress  
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Connolly Sweeps Illegal Immigration Out of the Picture

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) swept all nine magisterial districts in his thumping of Republican Gary H. Baise on Tuesday. He carried Sully and Springfield -- which he lost to Mychele B. Brickner (R) in 2003 -- by comfortable margins. A closer look at the returns confirms that Connolly was successful in neutralizing illegal immigration as an issue. Connolly opposed get tough measures touted by other candidates such as withholding services and involving local police in immigration enforcement. Yet he won Herndon, the region's longtime immigration battleground, with nearly 57 percent of the vote, better than his showing in 2003. The numbers also suggest that Connolly's push for creation of the "Enhanced Code Enforcement Strike Team" to crack down on illegal boarding houses also paid political dividends. In Lee District, he handily won precincts that generated the most complaints about residential overcrowding -- including Crestwood,...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 8, 2007; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Gerald E. Connolly , Immigration  
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Fairfax Vote Canvass Completed, Cuccinelli Holds Onto Lead

The Fairfax County Electoral Board today finished its canvass of Tuesday's tightest legislative race in Virginia, concluding that Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) held a 92 vote lead over Democrat Janet S. Oleszek. The board will now certify its results in the 37th District and send them to Richmond, where the state electoral board will go through it's own certification process. That won't happen until the end of the month. A post-election canvass is the routine process of ensuring that vote totals from each precinct were counted properly and the results added accurately. Out of 37,185 votes cast, Cuccinelli's lead stood at less than a quarter of a percentage point. That entitles Oleszek to request a state-funded recount, which she has until Dec. 6 to decide. But Jonathan Murray, a spokesman for Oleszek, said an announcement of her decision could come as soon as Fairfax County has certified it's...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 8, 2007; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Not Just Any Phone Call

The phone's been ringing a lot in the household of Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who not only overwhelmingly won a second four-year term against Republican Gary H. Baise on Tuesday, but also picked up another Democrat on the board. Come January Democrats will hold an 8-to-2 majority. But even for Connolly, one call stood out yesterday morning. It was from presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who rang up to offer her congratulations....

By Amy Gardner  |  November 8, 2007; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2008/President , Gerald E. Connolly  
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Werkheiser 'Watching' Albo for '09

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By Tim Craig  |  November 8, 2007; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Election 2007 , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Mark Warner Launches New Blog

Former governor Mark R. Warner, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008, has launched a new campaign blog on his website. Warner also sent out a statement this morning soliciting campaign donations. Warner said Virginia Democrats "are on a roll" because of their success in Tuesday's state legislative elections. In the statement, Warner says he and his successor, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), have a record that "speaks for itself."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 8, 2007; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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John Warner Reacts to Election

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) issued a statement tonight about the Democrats' success in retaking the state Senate and picking up four seats in the House. In the statement, Warner said Virginia Republicans paid a price for moving too far to the right in recent years. You can read the full statement below....

By Tim Craig  |  November 7, 2007; 9:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , John W. Warner , Tim Craig  
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Rep. Cantor Likes House -- For Now

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, a popular Republican who represents suburban Richmond, has been increasingly mentioned as a possible statewide candidate, even perhaps as a candidate in next year's U.S. Senate race against Democrat Mark R. Warner. Many Republicans believe Cantor would be a formidable candidate in a statewide race because he is a proven fundraiser who has strong ties to both the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP. Cantor has also been mentioned as a possible future Speaker of the House if the Republicans regain control of Congress. In an interview today, Cantor declined to rule out making a statewide bid for office. His quote is ripe for parsing....

By Tim Craig  |  November 7, 2007; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Eric Cantor , Tim Craig  
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Byrne Officially Enters the Race for Congress

Democrat Leslie L. Byrne, the first woman to represent Virginia in Congress, said today she has filed papers to run for the U.S. House in a seat she held until she was defeated more than a decade ago. U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R), who recently announced he would not run for U.S. Senate, has not yet said whether he will run for re-election in Virginia's 11th District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties. "When I decided to do this, I decided to do this based on what I could bring to the race and to the 11th district,'' she said today. Byrne, who hopes to work on consumer, budget and environmental issues, won the seat in 1992, but lost to Davis in 1994 in a national Republican landslide. She narrowly lost the race for lieutenant governor two years ago. Davis' wife, Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 7, 2007; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/Congress , Leslie L. Byrne  
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Virginia Post-Election Roundup

Below is a selection of news and links from around the web reacting to the Virginia elections: Democrats gained control of State Senate, winning four seats in yesterday's election. Outside the Beltway reported that Republican candidates had been concerned that President Bush's "unpopularity" could put a "drag" on the party's chances. Virginia Business Magazine reports that the Democratic takeover in the state Senate could have "long-lasting effects on state politics." Virginia party chairman Richard Cranwell told the magazine, "Voters are sick and tired of obstructionism and rigid ideology. They want leaders who will work with Governor Kaine to cut through political gridlock and deliver results." Gov. Tim Kaine told reporters that yesterday's election was "a great night" for Democrats, according to Richmond.com. "We made history tonight by taking back the state Senate," said Kaine. Senate Majority Leader Walter Stosch (R) told The Roanoke Times that Republicans will continue contributing to...

By Liz Heron  |  November 7, 2007; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Albo vs. the Write-Ins

Several Republican incumbents in the House defeated Democratic challengers or third-party candidates. Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) faced neither but he still only garnered almost 88 percent of the vote. An extraordinary number - more than 12 percent - of the vote in 42nd District in Fairfax County for write-in candidates. In one precinct it was higher than 37 percent. Albo said a handful of anti-Republican activists who run the albomustgo Web site stood outside three precincts - Lorton, Lorton Station and Laurel Hill - to convince voters to write in other candidates' names. That doesn't explain the high numbers, one more than 10 percent, in some of the other precincts. "It's an 8th grade campaign,'' Albo said. "They hate Republicans."...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 7, 2007; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , Immigration  
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No Metro Board for Connolly

Newly re-elected Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly has no intention of going on the Metro board of directors, according to his chief of staff. There had been discussion that Connolly might try to expand his regional influence by claiming the Virginia seat on the high-profile panel that will be vacated in January by the retiring T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee). But chief of staff Dominic Bonaiuto said it's not in the cards, and that he wants to move the current alternate, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), up to principal voting member. A new alternate member to the Metro board will be appointed when the Fairfax Supervisors reorganize in January, he said....

By Steve Fehr  |  November 7, 2007; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Gerald E. Connolly  
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Update on Possible Recount in Cuccinelli-Oleszek

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said this afternoon he plans to consult with Democrat Janet Oleszek to discuss whether she should seek a recount in her race against Sen. Ken T. Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax). With all the ballots counted once, Cuccinelli holds a 94-vote lead over Oleszek. But because Cuccinelli's margin of victory is just .2 percent, Oleszek can ask for a state-funded recount....

By Tim Craig  |  November 7, 2007; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Inside The Fairfax Republican Bunker

Election Night with the GOP at the Marriott Fairfax at Fair Oaks was a bleak affair. The Post's Fredrick Kunkle describes the scene: Around 10 p.m., well before she conceded, State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis walked into lobby as if at bankruptcy sale, accompanied by her two daughters. A short woman approached, reached forward and took Davis' face in both hands before planting a kiss on her cheek. "God has a plan for us all," the woman said....

By Steve Fehr  |  November 7, 2007; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Cuccinelli Preparing for Recount

Sen. Ken T. Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax), who holds a 91-vote lead over Democrat Janet Oleszek, sent an appeal to GOP supporters at 3:30 a.m. today asking for donations to help him finance an expected recount. Because Cuccinelli's margin is less than a half percent, Oleszek can ask for a state-funded recount. In his appeal, Cuccinelli says he is also looking for 10 volunteer lawyers who can help him oversee a district canvass of the votes cast in yesterday's election. "The race isn't quite over yet. Janet hasn't called yet. and I haven't heard any fat ladies singing either," Cuccinelli said in his email. "As the only remaining Republican Senator from inner-Northern Virginia , I need your help today."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 7, 2007; 7:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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GOP Speaker of the Va. House Reacts to Returns

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) tonight issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2007 General Election: "For the fifth General Election in a row, Virginians have selected the House Republican Caucus to lead the House of Delegates. Our caucus continues to be honored by the confidence placed in our members by the people of Virginia, and we will continue to work diligently, thoughtfully and constructively on their behalf. "The true test of a strong majority is whether it can weather bad times as well as good. Tonight, our strong Republican majority in the House of Delegates endured despite a challenging political environment....

By Liz Heron  |  November 7, 2007; 12:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Democrats React Jubilantly to Results

Tidbits from the Democrats' victory party at Tysons Corner: "It's a huge win. ... It's an extraordinary sweep," said a jubilant Connolly in an interview, adding that Fairfax residents have endorsed his approach to government over that of his Republican rivals. "They are interested in leadership that gets results. They are not interested in ideology, and they are not interested in inexperience." He said he and his board colleagues "delivered a government that has provided the finest quality of services in the U.S." Connolly would not say whether his victory moved him toward seeking a seat in Congress, instead pointing to unfinished business in Fairfax. "I am savoring a wonderful victory. I think it may very well be the largest victory of an incumbent chairman in a two-party competitive race in modern times," Connolly said. "I secretly had hoped we could win all 9 districts, but frankly the results tonight...

By Liz Heron  |  November 7, 2007; 12:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Virginia Elections Roundup

Below is a selection of news and links from around the web about the Virginia elections. Albemarle County's registrar, Jake Washburn, told DailyProgress.com that he expects a higher voter turnout because of the contested races for sheriff, commonwealth's attorney, circuit court clerk and the School Board seat. "I'm thinking we'll at least get a better turnout than the last set of local elections," Washburn said....

By Liz Heron  |  November 6, 2007; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Inside Alexandria and Arlington Precincts

Reporter Brigid Schulte visited precincts in Alexandria and Arlington today. Here's what she found: Mary Sanford, of Alexandria, came out early to vote for Democratic Del. Adam Ebbin, though his re-election was assured in the heavily Democratic city. She said she was hoping to be part of a tide that swept Democrats to power in Richmond and forever change the direction of state priorities on gun laws and funding for roadway improvements and schools. Immigration, she said, was also a key issue. But her view is vastly different from those who favor crack downs or harsh penalties for those in the country illegally. "My husband is an engineer and works on civil construction projects. Without immigrants, roads wouldn't get built, airport runways wouldn't get built, the economy would stop," she said. "Through his experience, I became much more aware of how hard immigrants work." She said she disapproves of...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 6, 2007; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Inside a Fairfax Precinct Tonight

Reporter Chris L. Jenkins just returned from a precinct in the crucial 34th Senate District of Fairfax County. Here's what he filed: In the early evening, voters began showing up in bunches at Fairfax City Hall to cast their votes for a Senate race that many political observers have said is too close to call: Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R) is trying to withstand a well-funded attack from J. Chapman Petersen (D), a former state delegate and Fairfax City council member. Interviews with nearly a dozen voters seemed to indicate partisan loyalty was a driving factor for some voters. The race has been unlikely in some ways, as Petersen has offered some views on issues that are considered Republican while Devolites Davis has run on some issues usually championed by Democrats. "I kinda wish Davis had the opinions of Petersen on guns," said Ernest Frank, 52, a retired District...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 6, 2007; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Election Results May Be Delayed in Fairfax

New restrictions on wireless communication in Virginia polling places will significantly slow election returns in Fairfax tonight, the county's board of elections expects. According to the Fairfax County Electoral Board, staff in the county's precincts must manually tabulate results and phone in returns to the Office of Elections in order to comply with restrictions passed earlier this year by the General Assembly. The Assembly voted to "prohibit the use of wireless communications on voting equipment while the polls are open on election day," county officials stated in a press release. "In order to comply with this legislation, the wireless component on the county's 1,200 voting machines was disabled during the pre-election set-up and testing of the equipment. As a result, the precincts do not have the ability to tabulate their machines wirelessly and cannot transmit their returns via modem to the Fairfax County Government Center," according to the county's release....

By Liz Heron  |  November 6, 2007; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Kaine Makes 11th-Hour Plea to Voters as Races Tighten

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's political action committee is making a last-minute push to get people to the polls. Moving Virginia Forward sent an e-mail to supporters around 5:30 p.m. saying the races that will decide control of the General Assembly are extremely close. "Polls are open until 7 pm today, so you still have time," the mailing said. "All of the information we're getting back from polling places tells us that these races for the General Assembly are going to be very, very close - and that your vote is really going to make a difference. So if you haven't voted, why not?" the e-mail read. "Today is a very important day for the future of Virginia. We hope to make a major change in the General Assembly - one that means that there will be less partisan bickering and more results for Virginians. You can be a part of...

By Liz Heron  |  November 6, 2007; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Best Campaign Sign

Spotted yesterday, a sign on the back of a tanker truck carrying septic waste in the Reston area: "Transporting Leftover Campaign Debates." Share your favorite sign, or quote from this fall's campaign....

By Steve Fehr  |  November 6, 2007; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Campaign Ads , Election 2007  
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Getting Out The Vote in Danville

To get a sense of Virginia Democrats' get-out-the-vote operation during the final hours of the 2007 campaign, one should look at the hotly-contested race in Danville between Democrat Adam J. Tomer and Del. Daniel W. Marshall III (R)....

By Tim Craig  |  November 5, 2007; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Hager, Bush Spend Election Night Together

While most Republican and Democratic leaders in Virginia will be sweating the results of tomorrow's crucial election, GOP state party chairman John H. Hager will be partying at the White House with President Bush. Hager, a former Bush administration official and future father-in-law of the president's daughter, will be a guest at a dinner honoring French President Nicolas Sarkozy....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 5, 2007; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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The Final Push

The entire cast of Democratic characters could hardly fit onto the stage at George Mason University this morning, when Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, former governor Mark R. Warner and U.S. Sen. James Webb led a throng of candidates and legislative leaders at an outdoor rally before hundreds of supporters. "So far what we've heard from the other side is, 'No,'" Warner said in the autumn sunshine. He urged the candidates behind him on the stage not to reflexively vote Democratic on issue, but, "What I desperately want them to do is not reflexively say, 'No.'" Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, emceed the event. Connolly earned laughs by saying, "First of all, can I mention: I'm on the ballot." He also earned cheers by saying, "Here in Fairfax, we are on the verge of a sweep." Other luminaries included state Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria),...

By Amy Gardner  |  November 5, 2007; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2007  
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John Warner Isn't Sharing Campaign Wealth

When Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va) announced in September he was retiring at the end of his term, some Virginia Republicans were hoping he would send some of his campaign cash to GOP candidates for the state House and Senate. According to the Federal Election Commission, John Warner's campaign committee reported having $724,000 in the bank as of Sept. 30. But Warner hasn't donated any of his money to Virginia Republicans this year, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics....

By Tim Craig  |  November 5, 2007; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , James Webb , John W. Warner , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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David Rensin Tops $1 Million in Donations to GOP

David K. Rensin, a software engineer, has surpassed $1 million in total contributions to conservative causes and Virginia Republican candidates this year. On Friday, Rensin donated $160,000 to Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel, who is locked in a tight race against Democrat Karen Schultz in a district that stretches from western Loudoun County to Winchester. Since January, Rensin has contributed $380,000 to Vogel's campaign, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics....

By Tim Craig  |  November 5, 2007; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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