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Virginia Politics Blog: May 25, 2008 - May 31, 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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008 , Prince William  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , James Gilmore III , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Leslie L. Byrne , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , George F. Allen , James Gilmore III , John W. Warner , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig , Virginia Notebook  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Tim Craig  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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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  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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