Archive: April 2008

Gilmore Steps Up Senate Campaign

Former governor James S. Gilmore III is taking swipes at both of the men standing in his way of being elected to the U.S. Senate. Earlier today, Gilmore's campaign released a statement noting that he won a straw poll taken at the Virginia Conservative Leadership Conference. Gilmore received 57 percent of the vote, compared to 40 percent for his chief opponent for the nomination, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who is trying to run to the right of Gilmore. "Del.Marshall was there that day and he should have owned the room," Jane Dudley, a conservative activist from Henrico County, was quoted as saying in Gilmore's statement. "If he couldn't win in that room it's not looking good for him for the convention." Gilmore is also taking aim at former governor Mark R. Warner, the likely Democratic nominee....

By Tim Craig | April 30, 2008; 3:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Virginia Connection in News Reports on Robocalls

ABCnews.com published a story today about allegedly deceptive calls being made into North Carolina in an apparent effort to mislead African-American voters about when they should vote. The article states similar calls were made into Virginia in the days leading up to the Feb. 12 primary. The article states the calls triggered an investigation by the Virginia State Police. You can find the ABC news report here....

By Tim Craig | April 30, 2008; 1:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

GOP Rallies Behind McDonnell-Bolling Ticket

In a sign that Virginia Republicans are ready to move beyond their recent internal divisions, 50 elected and party officials announced today they are supporting Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in next year's state races. Last month, Bolling announced he will seek reelection next year, which cleared the way for McDonnell to run for governor. McDonnell, so far the only GOP candidate in the race, said he and Bolling will run as a team, giving the GOP ticket a potential advantage over the Democrats, who may be distracted by a primary battle for governor between Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath). In a letter, all eight Republican member of Congress from Virginia, every Republican district chair, the entire General Assembly GOP leadership team and the leadership of the state party said they were endorsing the McDonnell-Bolling ticket. "A McDonnell-Bolling ticket...

By Tim Craig | April 30, 2008; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Speaker Wants To "Win Back" Loudoun

House Speaker William J. Howell made it clear yesterday that he is looking to Loudoun County to help Republicans keep control of the House of Delegates in the 2009 elections. "I know this sounds self-serving, the presidential stuff is important, but next year we've got House of Delegates seats, and there's a couple that are representing Loudoun and parts of Loudoun County that I know we can win back," Howell told a meeting of the Loudoun County Republican Committee....

By Sandhya Somashekhar | April 30, 2008; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Boucher Sticking with Obama

Despite the uproar of Sen. Barack Obama's pastor and his poor showing in communities along the Appalachian Mountains, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) said today he's convinced Obama is still more electable than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) Boucher, who represents rural Southwest Virginia, endorsed Obama (D-Ill) in January. Since then, it's become apparent that Obama is struggling to win over working class white voters like the ones who make up Boucher's district. In the Feb. 12 primary, Obama failed to get 15 percent of the vote in several counties in southwest Virginia, even though he beat Clinton statewide by almost 30 points. Obama's trouble connecting with voters in the Appalachian Mountain region was verified in last week's Pennsylvania primary....

By Tim Craig | April 28, 2008; 4:23 PM ET | Comments (9)

State Republican Files Complaint Over McCain Ad

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John H. Hager filed a complaint today with the Federal Elections Commission accusing the Democratic National Committee of coordinating with its two presidential candidates on an ad campaign -- a violation of the law. The 30-second ad shows presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain in a debate saying Americans are better off economically but statistics contradict him. "Not only are the Democrats blatantly distorting comments made by John McCain, but they are clearly breaking the law in order to do so," Hager said. "The DNC should immediately pull this ad.If they refuse to do so, then Senators Clinton and Obama and their supporters, including Governor Kaine, should call on the DNC to stop running the ad."...

By Anita Kumar | April 28, 2008; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (2)

Gilmore Declines to Debate Marshall

Former governor James S. Gilmore III will not debate his rival for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), next month in an event sponsored by three Young Republican clubs in Northern Virginia. "We're past the point of debate,'' said Ana M. Gamonal, Gilmore's spokeswoman. Gamonal said Gilmore's schedule is packed between now and next month's convention when delegates from across the state will choose a nominee....

By Anita Kumar | April 28, 2008; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cantor Says McCain Will Have to Work For VA

U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va) said today that Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, will have to work hard to make sure the Democratic presidential candidate doesn't win Virginia's 13 electoral votes in the fall. "I'm just worried, given the track record our party has demonstrated over the past three statewide elections, we've got some work to do," said Cantor, referring to Democrats' success in winning the last two governor's races and the 2006 U.S. Senate race....

By Tim Craig | April 25, 2008; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (3)

Marshall Challenges Gilmore to Debate

Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) agreed to participate in a U.S. Senate debate sponsored by three Young Republican clubs in Northern Virginia in the third week of May. No word on whether his opponent for the Republican nomination, former governor James S. Gilmore III, will participate. Gilmore turned down previous requests to debate Marshall. Instead, he is concentrating on a possible general election contest with the presumptive Democratic nominee, former governor Mark R. Warner....

By Anita Kumar | April 25, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (2)

Eric Cantor for Vice President?

The Republican National Committee announced today that U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) will head up the GOP effort to reach out to Jewish voters this year. Cantor, the chief deputy House minority whip, will be tasked with bolstering Arizona Sen. John McCain's appeal among Jewish voters, who have traditionally aligned with Democrats but who have been increasingly receptive to the Republican message on foreign affairs. "Senator John McCain has been a long-time advocate for a strong relationship between America and Israel," said Cantor. "Our next President will inherit a Middle East region that is at a crossroads. One path leads to security and peace, the other, chaos. I believe John McCain has the experience and character to be an aggressive advocate for a secure Israel and stable Middle East."...

By Tim Craig | April 23, 2008; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Democratic Party Aims for Gilmore

The Virginia Democratic Party is mocking former governor James S. Gilmore III's efforts to raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign, saying it shows even Republicans are turning away from him. Levar Stoney, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party, sent out a statement this morning noting that Gilmore (R), who so far raised about $750,000 for his campaign, has received contributions from only 394 individuals. Former governor Mark R. Warner, the likely Democratic nominee, reports receiving contributions from 8,700 individuals, Stoney said. Warner has has raised about $6.4million for his campaign. Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokeswoman, accused Stoney of spreading misinformation about Gilmore's fundraising. Gamonal said 1,819 people have donated to Gilmore's campaign, although she notes it doesn't have to itemize contributions of less than $200. But Democrats believe Gilmore's fundraising proves he is a weak candidate....

By Tim Craig | April 22, 2008; 12:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Gilmore Claims Victory in Senate Nomination

Former governor James S. Gilmore III said today that he has secured enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate next month but his rival, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), disputed that. "The race is not over,'' Marshall said....

By Anita Kumar | April 21, 2008; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (5)

Kaine Campaigns for Obama in Pa.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will travel to Pennsylvania this weekend to campaign for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill). The Democratic governor will appear at two "get-out-the-vote" events in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Kaine has traveled to other states during the presidential campaign including South Carolina, Georgia and Kansas.This is his first trip to Pennsylvania for Obama. The all-important Pennsylvania primary is Tuesday....

By Anita Kumar | April 18, 2008; 2:27 PM ET | Comments (3)

Marshall Raises $50,000 for U.S. Senate Race

Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) has raised $52,000 for his U.S. Senate bid in the first three months of this year, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that were due this week. His Republican rival, former governor James S. Gilmore III (R) raised $396,000. Probable Democratic nominee Mark R. Warner, also a former governor, raised $2.5-million....

By Anita Kumar | April 17, 2008; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (7)

Delegate Runs for Richmond Mayor

Del Dwight Clinton Jones (D-Richmond) announced yesterday that he will run for mayor of Richmond. L. Douglas Wilder, Richmond's current mayor and the nation's first black governor, has hinted that he will run for re-election despite a string of bad publicity lately....

By Anita Kumar | April 17, 2008; 2:09 PM ET | Comments (3)

John Brownlee Resigns as U.S. Attorney

U.S. attorney John L. Brownlee, a possible Republican candidate for Attorney General in 2009, announced today he is resigning as the top prosecutor for Virginia's western district. Brownlee, whose resignation will take effect May 16, said in an interview today he is "seriously considering" launching a campaign for attorney general later this year. But he added, "None of those decisions have been made ....I have not made a formal decision at this time."...

By Tim Craig | April 17, 2008; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting Down With Tim Kaine

Gov. Kaine pitched in on the harmonica Monday night at the 16th annual benefit for Arena Stage to support arts education programs in schools. Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy Arena Stage....

By Steve Fehr | April 16, 2008; 3:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Virginia Notebook: Democrats' Prospects Slipping Away

At the start of the year, Virginia and national Democrats had high hopes that the state's 13 electoral votes could be up for grabs in the Nov. 4 presidential election. But as the fight between Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) grinds on, it's starting to feel as though the Democratic prospects in Virginia might be slipping away. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive GOP nominee, should be an early favorite to win the state, and he probably grows a bit stronger every week there is not a Democratic nominee....

By Tim Craig | April 16, 2008; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Costly Battles for Congress on the Horizon

Democrat Tom Perriello, a candidate for Congress in the 5th District, outraised Rep. Virgil Goode for the third consecutive quarter but the incumbent still has a bit more money in the bank. According to the Federal Elections Commission, Goode raised $438,000 during the first three months of the year and has $593,000 in the bank. Earlier this month, Perriello reported he raised $600,000 from Jan 1 to March 31. He has $500,000 in the bank....

By Tim Craig | April 16, 2008; 11:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fimian Rolls Up Big Bucks

The big money is not all on the Democratic side in the 11th Congressional District race. Republican Keith Fimian announced that he has raised $838,000--with $742,000 cash on hand--in the campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R). The Oakton resident, a former football star at the College of William and Mary, owns U.S. Inspect, a home inspection company. Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, leads fundraising in the Democratic field with $500,000 amassed during the first quarter of 2008....

By Bill Turque | April 16, 2008; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

Politicians Get Ready for Shad Planking Wednesday

Politicians from around the state will flock to tiny Wakefield on Wednesday for the 60th annual Shad Planking, a longtime Virginia tradition where politicians come to see and be seen. Speakers include U.S. Senate candidates, Republicans James S. Gilmore III and Robert G. Marshall, and Democrat Mark R. Warner. It may the only time the three men share a stage before a Republican nominee is picked next month. Democrat Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, who is running for governor next year, and his potential rival, Del. Brian J. Moran, both sent their staffs to Wakefield today to help Warner's team set up....

By Anita Kumar | April 15, 2008; 6:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Gilmore Fundraising Numbers Revealed

Former governor James S. Gilmore III (R) will report today he's raised $396,000 during the first three months of the year and has $208,000 in the bank, according to Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokesman. Gilmore, who is competing against Del. Robert G. Marshall and Robert D. "Bob" Berry for the GOP nomination, has raised about $747,000 since he launched his campaign in November....

By Tim Craig | April 15, 2008; 1:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Another Lawmaker Decides Against AG Run

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) told supporters today that he will not run for attorney general next year. "My family is the abiding consideration for me in deciding to forego a run at this time. I have two children in high school, and I am very proud of them," he wrote in an email. "I understand the sacrifices my family would have to make in order for me to seek statewide office at this time, and they are too great." Obenshain wrote in an email that he had been encouraged to run for several months....

By Steve Fehr | April 15, 2008; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Connolly Still Leads the Money Race

The money keeps flowing into the 11th Congressional District's Democratic primary showdown. According to disclosure reports to be filed to the Federal Election Commission tomorrow, Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is leading the pack of four after raising $500,000 during the first quarter of 2008. As of March 31, Connolly had $424,000 on hand, his campaign reported....

By Amy Gardner | April 14, 2008; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bell Will Not Run For Attorney General

Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Charlottesville) said this afternoon that he will not run for state attorney general in 2009. He said his wife is pregnant so the timing is not right for him to launch a statewide campaign. Bell, elected in 2001, had been gearing up for a run for more than a year. As of Dec. 31, Bell had raised $300,000, giving him an early advantage in the money race....

By Anita Kumar | April 14, 2008; 6:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cranwell Will Step Aside Next Year

C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, plans to step aside next year as party leader. Cranwell, a 30-year fixture in the House of Delegates, said he pledged to former governor Mark R. Warner and current governor Timothy M. Kaine, that he would serve until his term expires in 2009. But he will not run again....

By Anita Kumar | April 11, 2008; 5:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Submits Signatures for Ballot

Former governor Mark R. Warner submitted the signatures of 29,146 Virginia voters to the State Board of Elections in Richmond Friday to get his name on the November ballot. Friday was the deadline for all candidates to submit signatures to get on the ballot. Republican candidates James S. Gilmore III and Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) did not have to submit signatures. Instead, they will compete for their party's nomination at the state convention in June....

By Anita Kumar | April 11, 2008; 5:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

PW Supervisors Lack Consensus

Prince William County Supervisors can't seem to agree on much of anything lately. For more than a year they put off making a decision about what to do with 230 acres of parkland in the western end of Prince William County. After a late night meeting earlier this week, the board put it off again. This time supervisors asked County Executive Craig S.Gerhart to fix it....

By Kristen Mack | April 11, 2008; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

Mark Warner Raises $2.5 Million in Three Months

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D) announced today he raised $2.5 million for his U.S. Senate campaign during the first three months of the year. Warner, who will likely face either Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) or former governor James S. Gilmore III (R)_ in the general election, has about $4.4 million in the bank. "We are gratified that so many Virginians are enthusiastically supporting Governor Warner's effort to fix what's wrong with Washington today," said Warner spokesman Kevin Hall....

By Tim Craig | April 10, 2008; 4:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

Connolly Up 20 Points in Poll

New polling by Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly continues to show him with a significant lead over Leslie L. Byrne in the race for the 11th District Democratic Congressional nomination. The poll of likely Democratic primary voters, first reported yesterday by the Congressional newspaper The Hill, had Connolly ahead of Byrne by a 20-point margin, 45-25. That is just slightly below the 23-point spread Connolly claimed in a January poll. Both surveys were conducted by Lake Research Partners. It shows two other opponents, Doug Denneny and Lori Alexander, trailing far behind with one percent each....

By Steve Fehr | April 9, 2008; 3:33 PM ET | Comments (10)

Virginia Notebook: Hager and Frederick Battle for GOP

The hottest contest at the Virginia Republican Party convention next month might not be the one between Del. Robert G. Marshall and former governor James S. Gilmore for the nomination for Senate. It could be the battle for state party chairman, which has taken a nasty turn and exposed a generational divide within the party....

By Tim Craig | April 9, 2008; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine OK With Efforts to Persuade Superdelegates

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said today he's not opposed to efforts by Democratic officials to persuade superdelegates from Virginia to support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the national convention in August. At a news conference this morning, Kaine (D) said he is also "having conversations with superdelegates all the time." "Superdelegates are getting communications from a lot of people, so folks communicating with the undecided by saying 'hey come for Senator Obama', it's all part of persuasion," said Kaine, one of Obama's national co-chairmen. "We are in a persuasion game here by trying to get those uncommitted to commit." On Monday, the leaders of about 40 Democratic county and city committees in Virginia sent a letter to the state's superdelegates pressuring them to endorse Obama. The leaders, who have also launched an online petition, included the chairmen of the Arlington, Prince William and Fairfax county Democratic committees. They noted that...

By Tim Craig | April 9, 2008; 11:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Gartlan Reverses Endorsement For Byrne

Former state Sen. Joseph V. Gartlan Jr., for 28 years one of the most liberal voices of the General Assembly, has endorsed Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District. The endorsement provides a boost for Connolly in an area where he needs it: among liberal party activists, with whom his principal opponent, former state senator Leslie L. Byrne, has strong roots. Such voters will be crucial in the June 10 primary. Gartlan's endorsement is notable for two reasons: As a liberal, he is ideologically close to Byrne. And that leads to point No. 2, which is that Gartlan had already endorsed Byrne, but he changed his mind after Connolly got in the race....

By Amy Gardner | April 8, 2008; 5:53 PM ET | Comments (6)

Denneny Urges Superdelegates to Support Obama

Doug Denneny, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 11th congressional district, has joined nearly 40 other party leaders in urging Virginia's superdelegates to endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). "I voted for Senator Obama because I believe he has the experience and judgment to lead our country," said Denneny, a retired Naval Flight Officer. "With a resounding voice, Virginia Democrats chose Senator Obama to be our party's presidential nominee, party elites should not overrule the will of the people."...

By Tim Craig | April 8, 2008; 3:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Former Delegate Harris Mulls AG Run

Former Virginia House of Delegates member Paul Harris announced today that he is considering running for the Republican nomination for attorney general next year. "I am consulting with Republican Party and conservative leaders around the state,'' Harris said in a statement. "I continue to receive strong encouragement to run for attorney general from prominent Republican leaders, former colleagues from the Justice Department, former constituents from the 58th House District, and from citizens in every region of this great Commonwealth."...

By Anita Kumar | April 8, 2008; 3:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Budget Battles in Prince William

Nearly 100 people spoke at a hearing last night on the Prince William County budget. Although many people thought the county's illegal immigration policy would dominate the testimony, the crackdown took a back seat to firefighters, who showed up in droves. Several firefighters implored the Board of County Supervisors to fully fund this year's proposed budget, which upgrades the department to regional and national standards. The updates were prompted in large part by the death of firefighter Kyle R. Wilson last year. "This budget was driven by one priority and that was safety," said Adam Mowry, a career firefighter. "We need to catch up. Funding anything less would be nothing short of irresponsible."...

By Kristen Mack | April 8, 2008; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dem Leaders Urging Va. Superdelegates to Back Obama

A coalition of Democratic leaders from across Virginia are urging the state's superdelegates to endorse Barack Obama for president. Obama overwhelmingly won the Virginia primary Feb. 12, taking 64 percent of the Democratic vote. But several of the state's superdelegates have endorsed Hillary Clinton and others, including U.S. Sen. Jim Webb and Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Richard Cranwell, have not endorsed either....

By Steve Fehr | April 7, 2008; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Judy Feder has $700,000 in Campaign Cash

Democrat Judy Feder raised $310,000 during the first three months of the year, bringing her total haul for her campaign against Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) to $900,000. Feder, one of the best funded Democratic challengers in the country, will report today she has $700,000 in the bank....

By Tim Craig | April 7, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Webb Willing to Overrule Convention Delegates

Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) said today that superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention shouldn't feel bound to support the presidential candidate who wins the most pledged delegates elected by the voters. "If they didn't want the superdelegates to have independent judgment, they wouldn't have created them," Webb said during an interview on ABC's This Week. Webb is the only Virginia Democrat in Congress who has not endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), who won the state's Feb. 12 primary with 64 percent of the vote....

By Tim Craig | April 6, 2008; 4:11 PM ET | Comments (5)

Perriello's Efforts in Middle East Scrutinized

Democrat Tom Perriello's congressional campaign had been on the upswing in recent weeks. Perriello announced last week he has bankrolled $500,000 for his campaign against Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), who represents a conservative district that stretches from Charlottesville to Danville. Perriello, an attorney, got another piece of good news last week when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it will be targeting Goode, setting the stage for his toughest reelection battle to date. But now comes this potentially damaging article from the Danville Register & Bee, which could become fodder for Goode and Republicans. Perriello's apparent efforts to apologize to Arabs for the conduct of U.S. forces in Iraq sets up an interesting contrast in the campaign. Goode made national headlines in 2006 for suggesting Muslims shouldn't be in Congress....

By Tim Craig | April 5, 2008; 4:01 PM ET | Comments (16)

 

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