Archive: May 2008

The Fallout from Frederick's Win

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick's election today as the new chairman of Virginia Republican Party will likely lead to some big changes at GOP headquarters, including possibly a new executive director, according to party officials. Under former lieutenant governor John H. Hager, who Frederick unseated today in the chairman's race, Charles E. Judd served as executive director. "You will probably be hearing some news about that next week," said Frederick, who lives in Prince William County. "I ran to make changes, so we will be making some changes." He declined further comment. It's unclear how national Republicans in Washington will react to Frederick's efforts to shake up the party in the middle of a presidential race....

By Tim Craig | May 31, 2008; 7:58 PM ET | Comments (12)

Frederick Wins Party Chairmanship

Jeffrey Frederick, a conservative state delegate from Prince William, was elected chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia today at the state convention, defeating incument John H. Hager. The vote tally was not announced this afternoon. Instead, Hager asked that Frederick be elected by acclamation after it became evident the incumbent had lost. "The Republican Party is strong in many places around our great Virginia, but statewide we've got some issues," Frederick said....

By Anita Kumar | May 31, 2008; 5:15 PM ET | Comments (17)

Gilmore Wins GOP Nomination

Former governor James S. Gilmore III narrowly won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in a surprisingly close race today at the GOP convention in Richmond. Gilmore, after squeaking past state Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William), now faces the hurdle of uniting a fractured party that in recent years has lost the governor's mansion and one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats. The vote total announced at the convention was 5,222 for Gilmore and 5,156 for Marshall. A handful of people voted for a third candidate, Bob Berry, who took his name off the ballot at the last minute. Though Berry's support was not enough to turn the contest, Marshall supporters shouted for a recount. Gilmore's successor as governor, Mark R. Warner, is the likely Democratic nominee for the fall election. Incumbent Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), no relation to the Democrat, is retiring. Several Republicans here predicted...

By Anita Kumar | May 31, 2008; 1:55 PM ET | Comments (9)

Mark Warner Launches TV Ad

As Republicans met in Richmond to pick a U.S. Senate nominee, former governor Mark R. Warner (D) announced his U.S. Senate campaign will launch a television commercial statewide starting Monday night. The ad will feature his "bipartisan success in balancing Virginia's budget while responsibly addressing record revenue shortfalls that ultimately reached $6 billion,'' according to his campaign. It will feature former Senate President John H. Chichester, a Republican who was chairman of the the powerful Finance Committee. "This initial positive ad spells-out governor Warner's track record in bringing all kinds of people together to find bipartisan, common-sense solutions, and that is the same approach he will take to the U.S. Senate," Warner campaign manager Mike Henry said....

By Anita Kumar | May 31, 2008; 12:22 PM ET | Comments (4)

Race for U.S. Senate Nominee Begins

Shortly after 11 a.m., thousands of delegates from around Virginia began the intricate, lengthy process of picking between the two leading U.S. Senate candidates, former governor James S. Gilmore III and Del. Robert G. Marshall of Prince William. Each candidate was given 20 minutes to make his case for why he should be selected to oppose the likely Democratic nominee, former governor Mark R. Warner. The candidates gave impassioned speeches, played videos and had various supporters nominate them. "I need Jim Gilmore in Washington,'' said U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake, who represents Hampton Roads in Congress. Marshall appeared to get more cheers from supporters in the crowd, but both had hundreds of people waving signs for them in the audience. "Go Bob go!'' the crowd chanted. Patrick McSweeney, former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, called Marshall "a man who follows his conscience no matter how inconvenient or unpopular the...

By Anita Kumar | May 31, 2008; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (1)

Republican Convention In Full Swing

Almost 5,000 enthuiastic Republicans from all corners of the state decended on downtown Richmond this morning for the state convention. "We have some work to do but we are up to the challenge,'' said Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was chosen yesterday to preside over the two-day convention. "The Republican Party is alive and well and will remain the majority party in this Commonwealth of Virginia." The Greater Richmond Convention Center was full of vendors hawking Republican elephant ties, supporters handing out of stickers for candidates and volunteers hanging thousands of signs around the cavernous ballroom....

By Anita Kumar | May 31, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (2)

Happy Birthday, Bob and Bill

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling celebrated an early birthday with hundreds of supporters tonight at the state Republican convention in downtown Richmond. The state's two top Republicans have been appearing frequently together in recent weeks to promote their ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in 2009. They offered drinks and cake with the words "2009 Winning Team" written in icing to toast their shared birthday of June 15. "Bill and I don't just share a birthday, we share the same beliefs,'' McDonnell said to a packed room....

By Anita Kumar | May 30, 2008; 10:07 PM ET | Comments (1)

Cheney Speaks to Virginia Republicans

Almost 500 Republicans from across the state gathered in downtown Richmond tonight to hear Vice President Dick Cheney speak at the party's annual fundraiser. Cheney, who plans to build a house in McLean after he leaves office in January, encouraged those in the audience to vote for Republicans in November, including Sen. John McCain for president in November. "You and I belong to the party of limited taxes, limited government and free enterprise,'' he said to applause. "We understand that government exists not to be the people's master but rather their servant."...

By Anita Kumar | May 30, 2008; 6:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Byrne Outraised Connolly in April, May

In the heated race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th congressional district, former congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne out-raised Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly over the past two months. Byrne and Connolly, widely regarded as the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed retiring Rep Tom Davis (R-Va.), now both have roughly the same amount of money to spend during the final two weeks leading up to June 10 primary. According to campaign finance reports, Byrne raised $182,000 between April 1 and May 21, and has $286,000 in the bank. Connolly, who had a significant cash-on-hand advantage over Byrne just two months ago, reported he raised $152,000 during the same time period. Connolly has $280,000 in the bank....

By Tim Craig | May 30, 2008; 2:25 PM ET | Comments (5)

Race for RPV Chair Goes Down to Wire

The campaign for chairman of the Virginia Republican Party is heating up in the hours before this weekend's state convention in Richmond. Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William), who is seeking the job, has been stepping up his attacks on chairman John H. Hager, who is seeking reelection. Frederick has been reminding GOP activists that Hager used to serve in former governor Mark R. Warner's (D) cabinet and donated $500 to former Democratic governor L. Douglas Wilder's 2004 campaign to become mayor of Richmond. Frederick also blames Hager for allowing the Democrats to retake the state Senate and pick up seats in the House of Delegates in last year's state legislative elections....

By Tim Craig | May 29, 2008; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (2)

Gilmore Attacks Marshall in Mailing

U.S. Senate candidate James S. Gilmore III has sent out a last-minute mailing accusing his opponent for the Republican nomination, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), of not being a "reliable conservative voice." Marshall, widely viewed as one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly when it comes to taxes and social issues, said the mailing proves Gilmore "is behind or close to losing" at this weekend's state GOP convention. Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokeswoman, was not immediately available for comment. But Gilmore has said in the past he is confident he has secured the delegates needed to win the nomination on Saturday....

By Tim Craig | May 28, 2008; 5:54 PM ET | Comments (3)

Democrats Contemplate the House Without Moran

Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) hasn't even announced that he is running for governor next year but two of his colleagues are eyeing his leadership position as Democratic caucus chairman, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House. Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax), caucus political director, and Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake), caucus vice chairaman, are vying for the job if -- and when -- Moran choses to step down. Moran is expected to run for the Democratic nomination for governor against Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) but he does not have to resign from his House seat or his leadership post....

By Anita Kumar | May 28, 2008; 4:03 PM ET | Comments (3)

Cranwell Staying Out of Obama-Clinton Battle

Virginia Democratic Party Chairman C. Richard Cranwell, one of the state's last remaining undeclared superdelegates, said today he won't be throwing his support behind a presidential candidate until after the state party convention in mid June. Cranwell, who initially backed former senator John Edwards, said he has to chair the convention so he doesn't want to be seen as a supporter of either Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) or Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)...

By Tim Craig | May 28, 2008; 3:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Virginia Notebook: 15 Questions for VA GOP

Thousands of party activists will converge on the Greater Richmond Convention Center this weekend for the state Republican convention. Republicans will select their nominee for the race to fill the seat of retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R). They will also elect a party chairman and delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. The convention will offer insight into the future direction of the party and clues into upcoming state and federal elections. Here are 15 questions the convention might help to answer. You can check back next week to find out the answers...

By Tim Craig | May 28, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (5)

Judy Feder Passes $1 Million Mark

Judy Feder, a Democratic candidate in the 10th congressional district, will announce today she has raised more than $1 million for her campaign, her campaign staff said last night. Feder, one of the best funded challengers in the country, faces Mike Turner in the June 10th Democratic primary. The winner will take on U.S. Rep Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.)....

By Tim Craig | May 28, 2008; 8:44 AM ET | Comments (3)

Bowerbank Enters the Lt. Gov.'s Race

Jon Bowerbank, a businessman and member of the Russell County Board of Supervisors, filed papers with the state Board of Election to run for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in 2009. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) plans to run for re-election....

By Anita Kumar | May 27, 2008; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Big Donors Boost Kaine's Fundraising

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has raised more than $370,000 from 15 contributors since mid March, a clear sign he plans to remain active in the political process even though he cannot seek reelection. Kaine's fundraising for his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, includes a $100,000 donation on April 10 from Radford billionaire R.J. Kirk. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Kirk has donated $550,000 to Kaine's political committee, according to the State Board of Elections. Kaine has received another $35,000 in donations since mid April from Shelia Johnston, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnston has contributed a total of $185,000 to Kaine since 2006....

By Tim Craig | May 27, 2008; 2:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine Wants Clinton to Drop Out in June

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said today he thinks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) should consider abandoning her campaign for the presidency so Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, can begin focusing on the general election. "I think we need to move to a position now where the campaign is between Senator Obama and Senator McCain and not have a side campaign between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton," said Kaine, one of Obama's national co-chairmen....

By Tim Craig | May 27, 2008; 12:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo Endorses Bob Marshall

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), an outspoken conservative and fierce advocate for additional controls on illegal immigration, announced today he is supporting Del. Robert G. Marshall's candidacy for U.S. Senate. Tancredo's endorsement could boost Marshall (R-Prince William) among conservatives as he battles former governor James S. Gilmore III for the GOP nomination. About 10,000 Republican activists will elect the nominee at the state party convention next weekend. "We can trust Bob Marshall to oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. In the House of Delegates, Bob has a strong record of doing what he could on the state level to stop illegal immigration," Tancredo said in a statement. "Instead of making vague statements about border security, Bob has a clear-cut plan to build a fence along the border, crack down on employers who hire illegals, and end birthright citizenship."...

By Tim Craig | May 22, 2008; 5:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

McDonnell, Bolling Honor Dead Soldiers

In honor of Memorial Day, the state's top Republicans, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, paid tribute in a ceremony at the state Capitol to Virginia soldiers who died in the last year. A pair of F-18 fighter jets and Blackhawk helicopters flew overhead. It was the second year that McDonnell - a likely candidate for governor next year - has organized the event. Last year, people in downtown Richmond were alarmed by the loud noise made by the fighter jets so this year, the Attorney General's Office tried to make sure more people knew about the event....

By Anita Kumar | May 22, 2008; 4:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mark Warner Has $5.3 Million in the Bank

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D) has raised almost $8 million for his U.S. Senate campaign, and has $5.3 million in the bank, according to campaign finance reports he plans to release today. Since April 1, Warner has taken in $1.5 million. Warner's numbers' show he has about a $5 million cash-on-hand advantage over his likely GOP rival in the fall, former governor James S. Gilmore III....

By Tim Craig | May 22, 2008; 1:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Frederick Won't Seek Reelection If Elected GOP Chair

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William) sent a letter to supporters this week saying he won't seek reelection to his House seat in 2009 if he is elected chairman of the Virginia Republican Party at next week's GOP convention. Frederick, who is challenging John H. Hager for the chairman's job, said he made his decision because of concerns from party leaders that it would be too hard for him to be both a delegate and the leader of the state party. "With the loss of 9 seats in the General Assembly in just the last 6 months alone, and RPV finishing 5th in fundraising to four Democratic committees last year, the risk is too great for me to not make the tough decision to eliminate any objections to my candidacy for Party chair," Frederick said in a letter to GOP activists. "The future of our Party, and indeed our Commonwealth,...

By Tim Craig | May 22, 2008; 12:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Byrne Poll in the 11th

The congressional campaign of Leslie L. Byrne has released details from an internal poll showing her in a statistical dead heat with fellow Democrat Gerald E. Connolly. The two are competing in the June 10 primary along with two others, Doug Denneny and Lori P. Alexander, for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District, where incumbent Tom Davis is retiring. The winner will face Republican newcomer Keith Fimian in the fall in an increasingly blue-leaning district that includes much of central Fairfax County and a part of Prince William County. According to an internal memo issued by the campaign, Connolly is ahead of Byrne 37 percent to 34 percent among likely Democratic primary voters -- a statistical dead heat given the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points....

By Amy Gardner | May 21, 2008; 5:25 PM ET | Comments (16)

U.S. Senate Candidates Criticize Abortion Ruling

Former governor James S. Gilmore III, who is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, criticized yesterday's decision of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Virginia's ban on partial birth abortions. "This outcome shows how critical it is to have federal judges who will strictly interpret the Constitution," Gilmore said. "This unfortunate ruling by the 4th Circuit Tuesday was decided by two judges appointed by President Bill Clinton. If I am elected to the U.S. Senate I will support the selection of federal judges who do not try to rewrite laws that have been enacted by a duly elected legislature." Likely Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner was governor when the General Assembly approved the ban on late-term abortions in 2003. He opposed the ban, but the General Assembly overruled him. Warner declined to comment on the court ruling, which will likely thrust the issues of abortion...

By Anita Kumar | May 21, 2008; 4:14 PM ET | Comments (2)

Likely Candidate Moran Opens Richmond Office

Del. Brian J. Moran of Alexandria, who is expected to run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, has opened an office in downtown Richmond. Moran, who is chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates, had all his staff (about seven people) working out of an office in Alexandria until last month. Now, one staffer who is raising money has been located a few blocks from the Capitol in Richmond. That office is likely to expand in the coming months....

By Anita Kumar | May 21, 2008; 1:52 PM ET | Comments (2)

Virginia Notebook: Gambling on Webb for VP

Virginia Sen. James Webb, ending a nationwide publicity tour, is fueling speculation that he will be on Sen. Barack Obama's shortlist for vice presidential candidates. But don't start making Obama-Webb signs just yet....

By Tim Craig | May 21, 2008; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (4)

McCain Leads Obama, Clinton in Virginia

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, leads both of his potential Democratic rivals in Virginia, according to poll by Virginia Commonwealth University released today. The survey, conducted by the school's Center for Public Policy, found that McCain would beat Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 8 points if the election were held today. McCain would get 44 percent of the vote among voters, compared to Obama's 36 percent. McCain would expand his lead slightly if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York is the Democratic nominee. In that match-up, McCain gets 47 percent of the vote among voters while 38 percent would choose Clinton....

By Tim Craig | May 20, 2008; 5:06 PM ET | Comments (7)

Court Strikes Down Virginia Abortion Ban

A federal appeals court has ruled that Virginia's ban on late-term abortions, approved by the General Assembly in 2003 over objections from then governor Mark R. Warner (D), is unconstitutional. In a ruling issued this afternoon, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said the procedures covered under Virginia's ban "imposes an undue burden on a woman's right to obtain an abortion." The ruling will likely reignite the abortion debate in Virginia....

By Tim Craig | May 20, 2008; 4:12 PM ET | Comments (353)

Oleszek May Run Again for Senate

Democrat Janet Oleszek, who lost to Sen. Ken Cuccinelli by 101 votes in last year's election, says she's ready for a rematch in 2011. At the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner Sunday night, Oleszek said she thinks she will be able to beat Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) the next time....

By Steve Fehr | May 20, 2008; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (11)

Cheney to Speak to Virginia GOP

Vice-President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising gala at the Virginia Republican Party state convention next weekend in Richmond, party officials said today. Cheney's appearance will almost certainly become fodder for Virginia Democrats, who are trying to link the GOP and its presumptive presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, to the Bush administration. But the event will be a big money maker for the state GOP, which has been working to keep pace with Virginia Democrats in fundraising....

By Tim Craig | May 19, 2008; 5:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

Clinton Book Brings in the Bucks

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) may have won Fairfax County by 30,000 votes in the Feb. 12 primary, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY.) words are still apparently more valuable to that county's Democratic activists. During an auction last night at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, an autographed copy of Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope, sold for $250. An autographed copy of Clinton's book, Living History, sold for $400....

By Tim Craig | May 19, 2008; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jody Wagner Ponders Bid for Lt. Gov.

Secretary of Finance Jody W. Wagner was making the rounds at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner last night as she considers a bid for statewide office. Wagner, who is from Virginia Beach, said in an interview she is thinking about running for lieutenant governor next year, although she was quick to point out her main focus continues to be her job in Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's administration. "I'm thinking about it but right now I am still working very hard for Governor Kaine on transportation and other stuff," said Wagner, adding she will have to step down as finance secretary if she decides to run for lieutenant governor....

By Tim Craig | May 19, 2008; 11:31 AM ET | Comments (1)

Brownlee Expected to Announce AG Run

John Brownlee, the former top prosecutor for Virginia's western district, is expected to announce tomorrow that he is running for the Republican nomination for attorney general next year. Brownlee, whose last day on the job was Friday, has scheduled a news conference tomorrow morning in Roanoke. Brownlee, 43, has been U.S. Attorney since 2001. A graduate of Washington and Lee University and the William and Mary law school, Brownlee previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In Virginia, Brownlee is best known for efforts to combat illegal drug use, including going after the makers of Oxycotin for alleged deceptive marketing....

By Anita Kumar | May 19, 2008; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Live Q&A With U.S. Rep. Jim Moran

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia's 8th District will be online Tuesday, May 20 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about his work and goals during this session of Congress. You can read the Q&A here or submit questions directly....

By Washington Post Editors | May 19, 2008; 7:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

Connolly Wins Fairfax Straw Poll

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 11th District, easily defeated his rivals for the nomination in a straw poll tonight at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Party officials say Connolly won but they didn't release the final vote count. However, Connolly says he got 57 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for his closest rival, former congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne. The two other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the June 10 primary, Doug Denneny and Lori P. Alexander, split the remaining votes, Connolly said....

By Tim Craig | May 18, 2008; 10:42 PM ET | Comments (12)

Reactions to Wilder's Announcement

Here are various reactions to Doug Wilder's announcement this morning that he would not seek a second term as Richmond mayor: U.S. Sen. John W. Warner (R): "Doug Wilder is a distinguished Virginian who made history, starting in the General Assembly, as lieutenant governor, then as governor. In early life, he served his nation proudly in uniform. During his period of public service, we always have had a sound working relationship and put the interests of Virginia first." Former Gov. Mark R. Warner (D): "I got my start in Virginia politics working for Doug Wilder. He gave me an enormous opportunity, and I would not be where I am today were it not for some of the things I learned from him. Doug has always been willing to offer an independent voice, and he and I have not always agreed, but I have enormous respect for his public service."...

By Anita Kumar | May 16, 2008; 6:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hager, Frederick Will Debate in Northern Virginia

The two candidates running in an increasingly bitter race to be chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia will debate in Northern Virginia next week. John H. Hager, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, and Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William) will debate at 7:30 p.m. May 22 at the Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield. The debate is organized by the Fairfax, Prince William and Arlignton Young Republican Clubs....

By Anita Kumar | May 16, 2008; 2:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Doug Wilder Will Not Run for Re-Election

Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder announced today that he will not run for re-election as mayor of Richmond. "As the first elected mayor under the city's new form of government, I have set the course that will continue to produce meaningful results even as I now announce my leave from this office at the end of the year," Wilder said in a statement. In the statement, Wilder wrote about improvements in public safety, economic development and education during his tenure....

By Anita Kumar | May 16, 2008; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain, GOP Prepare for Virginia Campaign

Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is getting a head start on the Democrats when it comes to opening a state headquarters in Virginia. The McCain campaign, which is partnering with the Virginia Republican Party, is opening an office in the 1200 block of South Clark Street in Arlington. Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, and state party chairman John H. Hager plan to hold a grand opening event at the office on Monday. The office will serve as "the nerve center" for party officials helping McCain as well as GOP candidates running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, according to a news release from the state party....

By Tim Craig | May 15, 2008; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Nye Says He's Competitive With Drake

Glenn Nye, a Democrat running in the 2nd Congressional District, released an internal poll today that shows he's well positioned to unseat incumbent Thelma Drake (R-Va) this year, especially if Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is his party's nominee for president. In the survey by the firm of Bennett, Petts & Normington, only 40 percent of voters say they want to reelect Drake. In a head to head match up, Nye gets 32 percent of the vote, compared to Drake's 48 percent. But the polling memo notes that only 9 percent of voters can currently recognize Nye's name....

By Tim Craig | May 15, 2008; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Given Warning About Black Vote

Is former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner, the presumptive Democratic nominee in this year's U.S. Senate race, taking black voters for granted? Maybe, according to the Richmond Free Press, the city's black newspaper. In an editorial this morning, the newspaper warned Warner he does not have a lock on the African-American vote. Although the editorial board conceded Warner is heavily favored to win in the fall, it noted former senator George Allen (R) was also the front-runner a few months before he lost his bid for reelection to Democrat James Webb....

By Tim Craig | May 15, 2008; 11:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

House Republicans' Secret Weapon: The Ballot Box

As lawmakers prepare to head back to town next month to try to resolve how to finance transportation projects, it is looking increasingly like the special session might repeat of the pattern of the past two years. That pattern goes something like this: Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), backed by some Democratic lawmakers, pushes a big tax increase. House Republicans, most of whom have little connection to heavily congested Northern Virginia, kill the proposal. Lawmakers leave town knowing full well it's only a matter of time before they return to repeat the entire exercise....

By Tim Craig | May 15, 2008; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

House Campaigns Set to Begin

The campaigns for the House of Delegates in 2009 are about to begin. Yes, already. Former mayor Kerry J. Donley announced today that he stepping down as the athletic director for Alexandria public schools to run for the House of Delegates in 2009. Donley, a Democrat, plans to run for the seat held by Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), who is expected to run for governor instead of seeking reelection. Donley's resignation from Alexandria schools will be effective June.30. He was mayor fof Alexandria from 1996 to 2003 and served a stint as chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party Because Moran's district is heavily Democratic, Donley will be favored to succeed Moran if he can win a nomination fight in the spring....

By Tim Craig | May 14, 2008; 4:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Del. Frederick's Wife Defends Her Husband

House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) sent a letter to Virginia Republicans encouraging them to re-elect John H. Hager chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia on May 31. Unfortunately, one of the recipients was the wife of Hager's opponent, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William). A clearly angry Amy Frederick sent letter back to Howell today, defending her husband and demanding an apology. "I realize Jeff is a young go-getter and that rubs the old guard the wrong way,'' she wrote. "Yet, just because you've known Jeff's opponent for over 20 years, as you stated in your letter, doesn't excuse this sort of conduct." Read below for text of both letters:...

By Anita Kumar | May 12, 2008; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (6)

Republicans Try to Build the Party

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John H. Hager anounced today they are leading an effort to build the party's grassroots organizations across the state. The effort calls on local Republican committees to double their membership lists by Labor Day. Those that do will receive extra money to support their activities, including get-out-the-vote efforts for the November elections. "Reaching out to those Virginians who share our principles and getting them involved is essential to strengthening the Republican Party and winning elections," Hager said. "This initiative reflects the unity within the party and will pay dividends not only in 2008, but in years to come as well."...

By Anita Kumar | May 8, 2008; 1:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lobbyist Wins Seat on Fairfax City Council

If you haven't already heard, Dan Drummond, a lobbyist and former newspaper reporter and political staffer well known in Richmond, won a seat on the Fairfax City Council. Drummond, a senior vice president at the Powell Tate public affairs company, told the Washington Post that voters selected a trio of newcomers because of unhappiness at the rapid pace of development in recent years. "We need to make sure we have balanced growth," he said. "We can't lose that special something, that small-town charm."...

By Anita Kumar | May 8, 2008; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

McClellan Switches to Obama

Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, a superdelegate who had endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, announced today that she is switching her support to Sen. Barack Obama after his strong showing in this week's primaries. "The time has come to support Sen. Obama as our likely nominee,'' said McClellan, an African American woman from Richmond. "The time has come for us to come together as a party." McClellan, who endorsed Clinton in December, agonized in recent weeks about her decision, calling it "the most stressful thing I've been through in my whole life." She said that she gradually changed her mind after watching Obama win recent primaries and realizing he will probably be the Democratic nominee....

By Anita Kumar | May 7, 2008; 3:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Family Research Council Endorses Marshall for Senate

The legislative advocacy arm, FRC Action, of the Family Research Council, founded in 1983 to promote "marriage, family and the sanctity of human life," endorsed Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William) for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. "Delegate Marshall is the conservative candidate in this race," said Connie Mackey, senior vice president of the group's legislative advocacy arm, FRC Action. "There is a clear and significant difference between Bob Marshall's claim to the pro-life mantle and Jim Gilmore's."...

By Anita Kumar | May 7, 2008; 7:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Del. Marshall's Wife Clashes With Corey Stewart

Prince William County supervisors continue to deal with the aftermath of budget cuts. Several citizens showed up at today's board meeting to lament cuts to the county's budget, including the Manassas senior day program. One of the people who spoke was the wife of Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who is locked in a tight race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate with James S. Gilmore. Cathy Marshall said her 80-year-old father, Edward Fonseca, uses the senior day program several times a week. She implored the board to reconsider its decision....

By Steve Fehr | May 6, 2008; 4:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine Goes YouTube

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced today that he had created his own YouTube channel on the popular online video sharing site that allows people to watch and share videos. The channel, www.youtube.com/vagovernor, features video clips of public service announcements, speeches and public forums with Kaine. "I am pleased to join the Virginia government community of YouTube channels," Kaine said in statement. "The use of new media to deliver information online is vital to engage citizens in the process of government."...

By Steve Fehr | May 6, 2008; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

In PW, a Weaker or Stronger Immigration Policy?

A week after the Prince William Board of County Supervisors changed its hallmark illegal immigration enforcement, supervisors continue to argue over whether it was rolled back or expanded. The board voted unanimously last Tuesday to direct police officers to question criminal suspects about their immigration status after an arrest is made. The policy the board approved in October ordered officers to check the legal status of all suspects, no matter how minor the offense, if they had reason to believe the person might be in the country unlawfully....

By Steve Fehr | May 6, 2008; 3:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Continues Tour Around the State

Hundreds of supporters, including many local elected officials, greeted Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Mark. R. Warner at an outdoor rally outside the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk on the second day of his four-state tour. A four-piece ensemble played music. Jim Pierce, a financial adviser from Williamsburg who considers himself a Republican, said he will support Warner because he is impressed with his "common sense" approach and the way he reaches across party lines. Warner, who calls himself a moderate Democrat, frequently talks of forming a coalition of 10-12 "radical centrist" senators from both parties to hash out compromises....

By Anita Kumar | May 5, 2008; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

State Republicans File Another Ad Complaint

The Republican Party of Virginia announced today that it will file a second complaint with the Federal Elections Commission over what it calls the Democratic National Committee's continued coordination with its presidential candidates to launch attacks against presumptive GOP nominee John McCain. "A disturbing trend has developed among the DNC and its presidential candidates," said John H. Hager, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "First, the DNC shows complete disregard for federal election laws by coordinating strategy with the presidential campaigns, and then the DNC puts out intentionally misleading negative ads....

By Anita Kumar | May 5, 2008; 4:50 PM ET | Comments (1)

Warner Kicks Off Senate Campaign

Eights months after he announced he would run for U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark R. Warner officially launched his campaign tonight in the small town of Abingdon in southwest Virginia. "I believe that the American public doesn't trust either party enough to give them a blank check and what it's going to take is that both parties need to work together,'' Warner said. More than 250 supporters welcomed Warner, his wife, Lisa, and their two youngest daughters at E.B. Stanley Middle School for an early dinner of barbecue, cole slaw and pickles. A band played bluegrass music, including a song about Warner from his days as governor....

By Anita Kumar | May 4, 2008; 9:29 PM ET | Comments (2)

Harris Will Not Run for Attorney General

Former Virginia House of Delegates member Paul Harris has sent a letter to supporters to tell them he has decided not to run for the Republican nomination for attorney general next year. "In its simplest terms, the joy of spending time with my three children far outweighs any desire I have to be attorney general," Harris said. Harris, an Army veteran and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, served two terms in the House representing Albemarle County, just outside Charlottesville....

By Anita Kumar | May 2, 2008; 2:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Arlington's Foster May Run for Attorney General

David M. Foster, former chairman of the Arlington County School Board, announced today that he is considering running for the Republican nomination for attorney general next year. Foster, 54, a long-time member of the Arlington County Republican Committee, served on school board from 2000 to 2007. State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax), one of Northern Virginia's few conservative elected officials with grass-roots support across the state, recently announced plans to run. Former House of Delegates member Paul Harris and U.S. attorney John L. Brownlee, the top prosecutor for Virginia's western district, also are considering running....

By Anita Kumar | May 1, 2008; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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