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Candidates For Governor Meet The Press

Tim Craig

The four candidates for governor will speak tonight at the annual Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association dinner in Richmond.

Attorney General Robert McDonnell, the soon-to-be GOP nominee, and all three Democrats vying for their party's nomination will address about 120 State House reporters, legislators and their aides, political consultants and lobbyists.

Several other candidates for statewide office and the leadership of both the Virginia Republican and Democratic parties are also expected to attend.

The event marks the second time that all four candidates for governor will share the same stage. They also spoke to the Richmond press corps in December at the annual Associated Press Day.

At tonight's dinner, former Washington Post reporter Robert H. Melton and the late James H. Latimer of the Richmond Times Dispatch will be inducted into the association's Hall of Fame, which honors journalists who excelled in coverage of state politics and government.

Their names will be enshrined at the press room in the State Capitol.

Melton joined the Washington Post in 1982 and worked at the newspaper for more than 20 years, serving various stints as an editor and writer.

As the newspaper's Richmond bureau chief, Melton uncovered an eavesdropping scandal involving Republican officials listening in on Democratic conference calls by legislators and then-Gov. Mark R. Warner. Also that year, Melton's reporting led to the resignation of then House Speaker S. Vance Wilkins Jr. (R), who was accused paying a woman $100,000 to cover up his unwanted sexual advances.

Melton, who lives in Richmond, retired in 2006.

Latimer worked at the Richmond Times Dispatch from 1937 to 1991, chronicling the rise and fall of Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr.'s political machine. According to the Associated Press, Latimer covered 16 national political conventions and 12 Virginia governors.

He died in 2000 at the age of 86.

By Tim Craig  |  February 11, 2009; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Tim Craig  
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