Democrats Party at the JJ
About 3,000 Democrats clad in black tie and ballgowns gathered in downtown Richmond for the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. Each paid at least $175 per seat, generating the state party $700,000.
Former President Bill Clinton, the keynote speaker, received a standing ovation as he took the stage shortly at 7:30 p.m. after being introduced by Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake).
Clinton mentioned Virginia's many recent Democratic wins, which includes back-to-back governors, U.S. Senate seats and the majority of U.S. House seats.
Republicans "have to go back to the drawing board just as we did and it may take them years to figure out,'' Clinton said. "I hope it does."
Clinton mentioned all the state's prominent Democrats, including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, U.S. Sens. James Webb and Mark R. Warner. He even gave a shout out to Saron S. Bulova, elected chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week.
The event is a must-do for all statewide Democratic candidates running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general
Gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) had rallies outside the Greater Richmond Convention Center before the dinner. The two men, along with former delegate Brian Moran, were scheduled to give speeches later in the evening.
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