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L.F. Payne Endorses Moran

Tim Craig

Lewis F. Payne Jr., a former congressman from south central Virginia and unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 1997, will announce this afternoon he is endorsing Del. Brian J. Moran (Alexandria) in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Until earlier this year, Payne had mentioned as a potential candidate for governor but he declined to run. He currently serves as the president of McGuireWoods Consulting Firm.

"Brian Moran has a proven record of fighting for Virginia families," Payne said. "He has a two-decade long record of public service to Virginians and was a chief partner of Mark Warner and now Tim Kaine."

Payne's endorsement could be a setback for state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), also a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Part of Deeds' district overlaps with Payne's old congressional district, which stretches from Charlottesville to Danville. Deeds also played a big role in helping Congressman-Elect Tom Perriello win back Payne's seat for the Democrats this year. Payne is heading up Perriello's transition.

Payne's wife, Susan, is also endorsing Moran. As a member of Congress from 1988 to 1997, L.F. Payne was a founding member of the Blue Dog Democrats, a collection of conservative Democrats, often from rural communities. His support of Moran could help the Alexandria Democrat burnish his credentials in the rural, southern part of the state.

By Tim Craig  |  December 10, 2008; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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