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Virginia Politics Blog: November 30, 2008 - December 6, 2008

McDonnell, Bolling Kick Off Campaign

HOT SPRINGS, Va. -- Republicans Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling kicked off their joint campaign today for the state's two top jobs next year in front of a packed room at the annual GOP Advance at the posh Homestead Resort. The luncheon had the feel of a campaign rally. McDonnell-Bolling signs adorned the ballroom. Supporters waved red and blue campaign signs. They chanted "Bob" and "Bill" and gave each candidate a standing ovation. McDonnell, who is the Republican nominee for governor next year, came to the stage to the U2 song A Beautiful Day after attendees saw a new McDonnell biography video that aired on two large screens. "Let's get together, let's join together and do this hard work," McDonnell said. "Fellow Republicans, we're a little bit down, but we're not out."...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 6, 2008; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Frederick Critic Faces Opposition

HOT SPRINGS, Va. -- Northern Virginia Republicans are calling on James Rich, chairman of the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, to resign following his negative remarks about state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick in Friday's Washington Post. Several emails circulating Friday at the GOP Advance at the Homestead Resort called on Rich to step aside from his influential post. As chairman, Rich sits both on the GOP's executive committee and the 86-member State Central Committee that controls Frederick's fate. "You have truly crossed the line,'' Bob Maistros of Loudoun County wrote in an email to Rich. "We need a chairman who can support and promote unity among Republicans locally and statewide in order to turn our common focus on our opponents -- rather than to turn on our own in the media." Rich, who attended the GOP Advance, joked that he had hired a bodyguard. He questionned Frederick's leadership behind...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 6, 2008; 1:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Republicans Gather for Advance

HOT SPRINGS, Va. -- About 500 Republican activists from across Virginia gathered Friday at the Homstead Resort in the Allegheny Mountains in the far western part of the state for the 25th annual GOP Advance. They will attend speeches, receptions and training sessions throughout the weekend. Most candidates running statewide next year hosted parties, including Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, running for governor, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, running for re-election and the three men running for attorney general, John Brownlee, the former top prosecutor for Virginia's western district, David M. Foster, former chairman of the Arlington County School Board, and state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax). Those five candidates, as well as Alexandria lawyer Patrick Muldoon who is running for lieutenant governor, were certified to appear on the ballot in 2009. When news broke at a meeting of the party's governing body that McDonnell had been certified, the crowd stood...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 6, 2008; 1:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Eric Cantor , James Gilmore III , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Legislative Aide Arrested

Police arrested the legislative aide of Del. Jackson Miller (R-Prince William) for allegedly taking part in a scuffle in the District on election night that officers describe as an anti-gay incident. Bryan Fumagalli, 28, was arrested Nov. 22 on two counts of simple assault, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. "I'm very disappointed in his actions,'' Miller said today. "He's being dealt with and being disciplined." Police say Fumagalli assaulted one of two gay men who were walking outside the Capitol Hilton Hotel to a victory rally near the White House. They say he grabbed a rainbow flag, a gay rights symbol, from one of the men and assaulted him. Fumagalli has a court hearing Jan. 13....

By Anita Kumar  |  December 5, 2008; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Spruill Resigns Leadership Post in House

Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake) resigned his position as vice chairman of the House of Delegates' Democratic caucus. Spruill said he didn't have enough time to devote to the position because he is helping candidates, including gubernatorial hopeful Brian J. Moran, and may face a challenger for his own seat next year. "When I am part of something I want to do it right,'' he said. Republicans mocked Spruill when news broke that he makes about $7,500 a month to be an "outreach coordinator" for Moran, chairman of the House Democratic caucus. Spruill said today that he would not earn the salary during next year's legislative session....

By Anita Kumar  |  December 4, 2008; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009  
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Wagner Receives NoVa Endorsements

Former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner announced endorsements today from several city and county officials in Northern Virginia in her race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor next year. "I'm honored by the support of these outstanding public officials from across Northern Virginia," Wagner said. "Having a strong relationship between state and local officials is critical to moving Virginia forward, and as lieutenant governor will be one of my top priorities." Wagner faces Jon Bowerbank, a wealthy businessman from Russell County, for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. State Democratic Party Chairman C. Richard Cranwell declined again this week to say whether he will run. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) is seeking re-election. The full list of endorsements is below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 4, 2008; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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Moran Receives Martinsville Support

Democratic officials in Martinsville today endorsed Del. Brian J. Moran of Alexandria for the Democratic nomination for governor. Moran received the support of House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong, Martinsville Sheriff Steven Draper, president of the Virginia Sheriffs' Association, and Martinsville Democratic Committee Chair Lorene Martin. They stressed Moran's commitment to rural economic development, plans to re-energize Virginia's economy and his ability to win across Virgina, including rural regions. "I am honored to have the support of these community leaders," Moran said. "I plan on being a champion of rural Virginia in the governor's office just as (former governor) Mark Warner has always been. I know that Virginia needs a leader with a record of fighting for the hard-working men and women of rural Virginia."...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 4, 2008; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Terry McAuliffe  
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Virginia Notebook: Searching for that Ceiling

For Republicans still reeling from the drubbing the party took in Northern Virginia on Election Day, there is good and bad news in the outcome. First the bad news. President-elect Barack Obama received 60 percent of the vote in Fairfax County and 72 percent in Arlington County and Alexandria, giving him a trove of support that made it nearly impossible for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to carry the state. Now, the good news. Obama drew 60 percent of the vote in Fairfax and 72 percent in Arlington and Alexandria, which are about the same percentages that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Sen. James Webb (D) received in their races in 2005 and 2006....

By Tim Craig  |  December 4, 2008; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Gov Candidates Boast about Debate Performace

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe didn't waste anytime bragging about their performances in the first gubernatorial debate yesterday. The four likely candidates -- three Democrats and one Republican -- shared the stage for the first time at a debate yesterday afternoon, unofficially launching a yearlong campaign for the state's top job. McDonnell (R) sent supporters an email, saying he "took the stage yesterday in Richmond outnumbered, but not outgunned." "Over the course of the debate, McDonnell demonstrated that he is the only candidate running with the record, the ideas, the vision, and the leadership ability that Virginians look for in a Governor," the email said....

By Anita Kumar  |  December 3, 2008; 5:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Bedell Elected Fairfax GOP Chairman

The Fairfax County Republican Committee unanimously elected longtime local activist Anthony Bedell its new chairman at a meeting last night. "Anthony understands what it takes for us to start winning again in Northern Virginia,'' said Pat Herrity, a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and candidate for board chairman. "As I campaign to change the way the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has operated, I can think of no better partner to help in this campaign than Anthony Bedell, who will change the way the Republican Party operates in Fairfax." Bedell is director of federal and state government affairs for a Fortune 500 software company. He replaced Jim Hyland, who resigned. "Bedell is extremely smart, pragmatic, and he will work tirelessly to chart a new course for Republicans in Fairfax County," Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) said....

By Anita Kumar  |  December 3, 2008; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off

The four men vying to be Virginia's next governor shared the stage for the first time today, unofficially kicking off a yearlong campaign for the state's top job. Democrats Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, Del. Brian J. Moran and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Robert M. McDonnell answered questions posed by journalists at a forum in downtown Richmond sponsored by the Associated Press. The candidates staked out mostly predictable stances on issues and agreed that the economy will likely dominate the race and at least the start of the governor's four-year term. All four agreed that Virginia would have to continue cutting the budget but they ruled out raising taxes in a poor economy. "The worst thing you can do is to tax your way to prosperity,'' McDonnell. "That's failed in the United States and abroad." Voters will chose a Democratic presidential nominee June 9...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 2, 2008; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Wagner Names Campaign Manager

Former Finance Secretary Jody W. Wagner announced today that she has hired Elisabeth Pearson to be her campaign manager in her bid for lieutenant governor next year. Pearson was the campaign manager for the Democrats' coordinated campaign this year when the party picked up three U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat and Virginia voted for its first Democratic presidential candidate in more than four decades. "Elisabeth's leadership of the 2008 coordinated campaign was key -- and her joining our campaign gives me tremendous confidence,'' Wagner said in a statement. "With the future of our commonwealth at stake once again in 2009, we couldn't ask for a better campaign manager to keep our momentum."...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 1, 2008; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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Steele Will Headline the GOP Advance

One of Maryland's political stars, former lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele, will deliver the headline speech at the Silver Anniversary Dinner Saturday as part of the Republican Party of Virginia's GOP Advance. The Advance, an annual gathering of Republican activists in Virginia, will be held this weekend at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs in the western part of the state. The event will include speeches, seminars and receptions with Republicans seeking statewide office including Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. Steele, who lost a U.S. Senate race two years ago, is chairman of GOPAC, a group that recruits Republican candidates across the country and one of the most prominent black Republicans in the nation. He headlined a "Drill Baby Drill" tour across Virginia before the November election. He announced last month that he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. The next chairman...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 1, 2008; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Bolling Racks Up Support

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is expected to easily win the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor next year, released an extensive list of party leaders and elected officials who are supporting his re-election bid. The list includes every Republican in Virginia's congressional delegation, more than 70 Republicans of the General Assembly, almost every member of the party's state central committee and more than 100 of the party's committee chairs. Also included are former governor and senator George Allen, former governor James S. Gilmore, former lieutenant governor John H. Hager and Jerry Kilgore, former attorney general and 2005 gubernatorial nominee. "I am very pleased by the pledges of support that my re-election campaign has gained from Republican party leaders and activists all across Virginia," Bolling said. "Their friendship, confidence and support mean a great deal to me, and their willingness to stand by my side at this early stage shows the...

By Anita Kumar  |  December 1, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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