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Could Huckabee, Obama Battle For Virginia Votes?

Tim Craig

Some black ministers, who tend to be conservative on social issues and liberal on economic policies, are having a hard time deciding who they will support in the Feb. 12 Virginia primary.

In an interview at the state capitol today, Joe Ellison Jr. said he is "torn" over whether he will vote in the Democratic or Republican primary.

Ellison, pastor of Essex Village Ministries in Richmond, is executive director of Pastors for Family Values, an offshoot of the socially conservative Family Foundation. In past elections, Ellison has supported Democrats and Republicans, including voting for President Bush in 2004 and former president Ronald Reagan during the 1980s.

But Ellison said can't decide this year whether he will support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic race or former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, in the GOP contest.

"I like the energy Obama is bringing, but I like Huckabee right now so I am kind of torn," said Ellison. "These are exciting times because I feel we really have an opportunity to make a statement...I want someone who can go in there and get the country revised."

Ellison said he probably won't make up mind until a few days before the election. Adding to his confusion, he still hasn't ruled out supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), especially if she would be willing to put Obama on her ticket.

By Tim Craig  |  January 21, 2008; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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