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McDonnell, Democrats Square Off in Fairfax Race

Tim Craig

The first battle of the 2009 general election campaign for governor will take place next week when voters in Fairfax County go to the polls to elect a new board chairman.

Emboldened by the near victory of a GOP House candidate in heavily Democratic Alexandria earlier this month, Virginia Republicans are hoping Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) can defeat his Democratic opponent, Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (Braddock), in the chairman's race.

In effort to lay the groundwork for his own campaign this fall, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) has dispatched paid canvassers and volunteers to help Herrity. By the end of the weekend, McDonnell's staff estimates they will have knocked on more than 15,000 doors. McDonnell plans to campaign with Herrity on Monday.

Not to be outdone, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is turning his Mclean headquarters into a daily phone banking center in support of Bulova. While much of the work will be done by volunteers, McAuliffe plans to man the phones on Saturday.

McAuliffe's rivals for the nomination, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) and former delegate Brian Moran, are also dispatching resources to Fairfax in support of Bulova.

Deeds cut a robo-call for Bulova. Deeds also plans to dispatch volunteers from Charlottesville to Fairfax this weekend.

Moran's political assistant, Chris Collins, has been embedded in the Bulova campaign. Moran has also been organizing Democratic volunteers from Arlington and Alexandria to send to Fairfax to work for Bulova.

Moran's wife, Karyn, has also done a robo-call in support of Bulova.

"A victory by a conservative Republican in this jurisdiction of more than one million would be a setback for us, just as the new administration and Congress are getting started," Dominic Gabello, Moran's political director wrote in an email to supporters. "This election will set the tone for the 2009 elections. "

By Tim Craig  |  January 28, 2009; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Tim Craig  
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