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Virginia Politics Blog: May 11, 2008 - May 17, 2008

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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Transportation , Virginia Notebook  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008  
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