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Virginia Politics Blog: January 27, 2008 - February 2, 2008

Clinton Names Virginia Staff

Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign announced today that several veteran Virginia Democratic operatives will be directing her effort in the state's Feb. 12 primary. Mike Henry, Clinton's deputy campaign manager, will be the senior Virginia strategist. Henry managed Kaine's campaign during his 2005 bid for governor. Henry, widely credited with bolstering the state Democratic Party's voter files and outreach efforts to suburban voters, was also involved in former governor Mark R. Warner's (D) 2001 campaign. Matt Felan, finance director of Kaine's 2005 campaign, will be Clinton's Virginia director. Even though Kaine supports Obama, Felan is also executive director of Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward. Mo Elleithee, a senior spokesman for Clinton's national campaign, will also be Clinton's chief Virginia spokesman. Elleithee was also a senior adviser to the Kaine and Warner gubernatorial campaigns. Other Clinton staffers in Virginia include:...

By Tim Craig  |  February 1, 2008; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Gilmore Collects $348,000 for Senate Bid

Former governor James S. Gilmore's end-of-the-year campaign finance reports will show he has raised $348,000 for his bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, according to his advisers. Gilmore has raised far less money than the likely Democratic nominee, former governor Mark R. Warner, but Gilmore advisers say they are pleased with their effort. They note Gilmore didn't enter the race until late November and had to suspend his fundraising efforts over the holidays. "We are looking to raise enough money to put our organization and our campaign in place so for three weeks of work during the holiday season. The governor is proud of what he was able to accomplish in a short period of time, said Ana Gamonal, Gilmore's communications director....

By Tim Craig  |  February 1, 2008; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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GOP Chair, Jeff Frederick Tussle over 2004 Dispute

John Hager, the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said yesterday he's increasingly confident that party activists will reelect him to a full term, even though Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William) is vying for the job. In an meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters, Hager said "the Republican Party needs stability, continuity and leadership." "If I thought I needed to get out of the way to allow that happen, I would be happy to do that," Hager said. "I don't think it's about me, its about the party's business." Hager, 71, also took a swipe at Frederick, 32. Hager said Frederick is running out of "youthful exuberance."...

By Tim Craig  |  February 1, 2008; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Lawmakers Boo "Young Liberals"

A group of students from Charlottesville and Albemarle County high schools didn't exactly experience southern hospitality when they visited the state Capitol yesterday. During the House session, Del. David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) stood up to introduce the students, who were sitting in the gallery. But when Toscano said the students were members of the "Charlottesville Young Liberals" club, some GOP lawmakers started booing. After initially being taken aback, Toscano responded by saying: "They are here to witness the process. Whatever you may think of what they may think, I hope you would give them a warm Capitol welcome and help educate them on how things work down here." GOP aides stress the lawmakers who booed were joking, which is common in the sometimes unruly House chamber. Either way, the reception probably offers a lesson for the students on how things "work" in partisan Richmond this year....

By Tim Craig  |  February 1, 2008; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Delegates and Senators for McCain

Here is a list of delegates and senators who announced today they are supporting John McCain's bid for the Republican nomination for president. Del. Christopher B. Saxman (R-Staunton) Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) Del. Thomas D. Gear (R-Hampton) Del. Philip A. Hamilton (R-Newport News) Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott)...

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 7:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Delegates For Obama

Here is a list of the 17 state delegates who announced today they are supporting Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic nomination for president. Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk) Robert H. Brink (D-Arlington)...

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 7:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Obama Set to Launch Virginia TV Ads

Barack Obama's presidential campaign announced today they will begin airing two televisions ads in Virginia as the state gears up for the Feb. 12 Democratic primary. The ads are here and here....

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Mark Warner Hauls In $2.7 million

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D), a candidate for U.S. Senate this year, will report today that he raised $2.7 million in the last quarter, on top of the $1.1 million he had already raised. Former governor James Gilmore (R), a candidate for the GOP nomination, will announce his fundraising totals later today. He entered the race in November....

By Steve Fehr  |  January 31, 2008; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Tim Hugo on Run For Congress: "We'll See"

Is Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) rethinking his decision not to run for Congress in the 11th congressional district? Earlier this month, Hugo said he decided not to seek the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va), who announced yesterday he is retiring after 13 years in the House. With Davis now out of the race, Hugo may be reconsidering. "I've had a lot of calls," said Hugo, who some Republicans believe would be their strongest candidate. "I need to talk to my wife. We'll see."...

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , General Assembly 2008 , Gerald E. Connolly , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Ward Armstrong Will Endorse Obama

House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) will announce this afternoon he is supporting Barack Obama in Virginia's Feb. 12 Democratic primary, sources said. Armstrong had been a supporter of former North Carolina senator John Edwards, who suspendend his bid for the White House yesterday. Armstrong will appear at a 2 p.m. press conference being organized by the Obama campaign to unveil several new Virginia endorsements. Meantime, Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said he has already cast his absentee ballot for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)....

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Kaine Talks About 2010 Job Prospects

Some people in Richmond are already speculating about what Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who just passed the midpoint of his term, plans to do when he leaves office in 2010. One option is future president of a college or university, including either the University of Virginia or Virginia Commonwealth University. In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Wednesday night, Kaine wouldn't discuss what his future options are, but said he really enjoyed the "community building aspect" of being Richmond mayor and governor. "I'm likely to do something that has a community building component," said Kaine, who said he could be interested in a job with non profit organization....

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Virginia Notebook: Names To Keep in Mind For AG

The positioning for lieutenant governor and attorney general is just beginning in advance of the 2009 statewide election. Here are some of the people mentioned by pundits as possible candidates for attorney general. Look for a similar discussion of possible candidates for lieutenant governor in the coming weeks....

By Tim Craig  |  January 31, 2008; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tim Craig , Virginia Notebook  
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Obama Staffers Hit The Ground in Virginia

Several staffers for Barack Obama's presidential campaign arrived in Richmond yesterday to head up his effort to win the Feb. 12 primary. Kevin Griffis, who worked for the Virginia Democratic Party during the 2005 governor's race, walked around the state capitol this afternoon letting the press know the Obama campaign is in town. Griffis will be joined in by Mike McCauley and Stacey Brayboy. All three were transferred from South Carolina, where they helped Obama rack up a 28-point victory over Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)....

By Tim Craig  |  January 30, 2008; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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He's Out

U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said today he will retire from Congress at the end of the year, bringing to a close a 14-year stint in the House of Representatives during which he rose rapidly through the ranks of Republican leadership and championed such issues as D.C. voting rights and a vibrant defense-contracting industry. "It's time for me to take a sabbatical," Davis said. "I would say I'm not ruling out future public service, but it's time to be refreshed, to see what it's like in the private sector. That doesn't mean I will or won't come back." Davis, 59, a self-described political wonk who has wanted to serve in Congress since childhood, said the decision was remarkably difficult. He said that even as some media outlets were reporting this week that he would retire, he had not made up his mind....

By Amy Gardner  |  January 30, 2008; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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House Democrats Want Regular Talks With Republicans

After three weeks of partisan bickering, House Democrats are asking House Republicans for weekly joint meetings between leaders of both parties. A letter signed by House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) was sent to Republican leaders today....

By Anita Kumar  |  January 29, 2008; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , General Assembly 2008  
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Is The Race On?

Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, still hasn't moved past the "exploratory" phase of his bid for Congress. But his committee very proudly shared some early fundraising numbers to make the point that Connolly has the ability to run a well-financed campaign. According to James Walkinshaw, who runs Connolly's exploratory committee, Connolly has raised $161,000 since the beginning of January, when he announced the formation of the committee to pursue a bid in the 11th Congressional District. By contrast, fellow Democrat Leslie L. Byrne will report at the end of the month that she raised $115,000 between the November elections and the new year, she said in an interview yesterday. "That's in just three and a half weeks," Walkinshaw said....

By Amy Gardner  |  January 29, 2008; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2008/Congress , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007 , Gerald E. Connolly , Leslie L. Byrne , Thomas M. Davis III  
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Will He or Won't He?

The suspense continues to build about whether U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) will seek an eighth term representing Northern Virginia this year. Davis has said for months that he would announce a decision by the end of January. And here we are. Despite media reports that Davis has decided to retire, he told WTOP this morning that he has not yet made a decision. Most observers believe retirement is the likelier of the two possibilities, but as a source close to Davis not authorized to speak for the congressman said today: "Anyone who says they know what Tom is doing knows more than Tom, because he hasn't made a decision yet." A Davis retirement has all kinds of implications for the region. Most immediate is the likelihood that Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, would upgrade his "exploratory campaign" to a full-fledged...

By Amy Gardner  |  January 29, 2008; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2008/Congress , Thomas M. Davis III  
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Edwards Proposes "Gun Show Loophole" Compromise

Last week, bills that would have closed the so-called gun show "loophole" died in committee, in part with the help of Sen. John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke), who on Wednesday voted against advancing the bill to the floor of the Senate. But today, Edwards -- whose district includes Virginia Tech -- tried to reopen the debate....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  January 28, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Sandhya Somashekhar , Virginia Tech massacre  
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