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Virginia Politics Blog: March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009

Shannon Picks Up Support for AG

Del. Stephen C. Shannon (D-Fairfax) announced today that his campaign for attorney general has picked up the support of the Ironworkers and United Transportation unions. "Steve has a long record of fighting to protect working families," Ironworkers Local 5 Business Manager Kendall Martin said. "Steve has fought to protect Virginia's families his entire adult life, whether it was as a prosecutor going after criminals who target children, or a legislator working to protect our families, Virginians could always count on Steve to do what's right." United Transportation Union Virginia Legislative Director Walter Yeatts credited Shannon with founding Virginia's first AMBER Alert system to recover abducted kids, prosecuting criminals who attacked children and fighting to create more jobs....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 6, 2009; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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McAuliffe's Packed Schedule

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe attended a fundraiser last night at the Hollywood home of Haim Saban, a billionaire entertainment magnate and longtime supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. It's part of a packed schedule that is taking the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee across the state and nation. Unlike his Democratic opponents, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former delegate Brian Moran, McAuliffe has the national contacts to raise money across the United States. Check out his schedule this week:...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 6, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Moran Gets Support of Williamsburg Mayor

Williamsburg Mayor Jeanne Zeidler announced her support of candidate Brian Moran in the Democratic primary for governor. Zeidler cited Moran's proven record of working on transportation solutions and his plans to expand health care for every Virginia child. "Brian Moran has a 20-year record of fighting for the people of Virginia," Zeidler said. "He will work hard for transportation solutions, to invest in education and to expand health care to every Virginia child...Brian's the type of leader who will wake up each and every day fighting for the people of Virginia and make our children his top priority." Moran is running against state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe in the June 9 primary....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 6, 2009; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Savage Suspends LG Campaign

Rich Savage, a Democratic political advisor in Richmond, announced today that he is dropping out of the race for lieutenant governor in November. "The worsening economic downturn presents too great a financial hurdle for my campaign to overcome,'' Savage said in a statement. Savage jumped into the race in January by unveiling a 10-point education plan that included tuition forgiveness for graduates who serve as teachers for five years. "The necessity of rebuilding our state's intellectual infrastructure does not end with my campaign,'' Savage said. "I call on the candidates who remain in the race - all of them good people and capable leaders - to seize the mantle of education reform. I will certainly continue to speak out for innovative solutions to the challenges that our schools face." Savage is the founder of Media Directions, Inc., a political advertising firm that has done work for Democratic candidates in Virginia...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 6, 2009; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009  
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Frederick Names Rensin GOP Finance Chair

Despite the attempted coup to oust him as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William) moved today to strengthen the state party's fundraising efforts. Frederick announced today he is appointing David K. Rensin, one the top GOP donors in Virginia, to be the party's new finance chairman. Rensin, a technology mogul, has donated more than $1.5 million to GOP candidates in Virginia since 2007. He was the single largest GOP donor during the 2007 campaigns for the House and Senate, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Rensin, president of Herndon-based RealityMobile, has strong ties to the conservative wing of the party. He is also Frederick's top donor, giving him $120,000 over the past two years, according to VPAP. "I can't express enough how excited I am that my good friend and dedicated supporter of our Republican team, Dave Rensin, has accepted this critical...

By Tim Craig  |  March 5, 2009; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Frederick Asked to Resign

The Virginia Republican party's governing body has asked state chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick to resign after a series of missteps, internal disagreements and the party's election losses last year. Frederick (R-Prince William) has not said whether he will resign or face a vote to remove him at an emergency state central committee meeting next month. He and his spokesman did not return phone calls today. Frederick campaigned for the job of chairman last year as a young, energetic leader who blamed his predecessor for failures at the polls. But many now consider his short tenure a failure. In November, Republicans lost a U.S. Senate seat, three U.S. House seats and their 44-year-old hold on Virginia's 13 presidential electoral votes. Frederick's critics said his lackluster fundraising, his disputes with Sen. John McCain's campaign team and his ill-timed remark comparing Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden did nothing to help....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 5, 2009; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/President , General Assembly 2009 , Prince William  
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Kaine Will Keep State PAC; Brooks Set to Take Over

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will continue to operate his Virginia political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, even has he expands into his new role as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Now that the legislative session is over, the state PAC will begin raising money to try to influence the outcome of state races. "We finished our year plan and we will begin our effort," said Charlie Kelly, executive director of Moving Virginia Forward. "We are in the organizing stages." One of the first changes at the PAC will be a new executive director. Dave Brooks, the PAC's finance director, will be taking over from Kelly as the executive director. It's unclear whether Kelly plans to remain in Richmond or move into a new role with Kaine at the DNC. Legal experts say Kaine will have to work hard to keep his Virginia PAC seperate from his DNC activities....

By Tim Craig  |  March 5, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Roberts to Join Kaine at DNC

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's chief counselor Larry Roberts will be leaving the administration to join his boss at the Democratic National Committee in Washington, according to sources close to the governor. Roberts, who was chairman of Kaine's 2005 gubernatorial campaign, will become senior advisor to the chairman. President Obama picked Kaine to serve as DNC chairman for a four-year term starting in January. Mark Rubin, senior advisor to the governor, will replace Roberts, sources say...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 4, 2009; 9:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell Responds to Democrats' Attack

Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell accused the Democratic Party of Virginia of duping more than 50 local leaders into attacking him by providing them with false information about his stance on the stimulus package. Last week, on a conference call organized by the Democratic party, the leaders called on McDonnell to pledge he would accept the federal stimulus package, but McDonnell had already said he would accept the money if elected governor. "I am sorry the Democratic Party of Virginia leadership in Richmond gave you erroneous information, and asked you to launch an attack unsupported by the facts,'' McDonnell wrote in a letter to local leaders today. "Certainly every campaign should be characterized by full, open, and vigorous debate over the policy issues of the day. But when a political party ignores widely available public information in order to score political points that is not responsible. I am sure...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 4, 2009; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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McAuliffe On The Move

While state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former delegate Brian Moran continue to look for a few headlines in Virginia, their Democratic rival for governor has been traveling across the United States this week. The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday that Terry McAuliffe attended a fundraiser at a Chicago restuarant Monday night. Hosts include J.B. Pritzker, whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain, and attorney Kevin O'Keefe, a longtime friend of Hillary Rodham Clinton who headed Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in Illinois. Tonight, McAuliffe will be in Phoenix for a happy hour event with the Arizona Democratic Council....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 4, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Terry McAuliffe  
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Stafford Supervisor Drops Campaign Against Howell

The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star is reporting that Stafford County Supervisor George Schwartz has dropped his bid to challenge House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) this year. Last month, Schwartz entered the race by saying he was "ready for the next challenge" and wanted to go to Richmond to take on "special interests." Democrats quickly took notice of Schwartz's campaign. Although Howell represents a GOP-leaning district, President Obama received 50 percent of the vote in it last year. According to the Free-Lance Star, Schwartz said today he is dropping out of the race because the campaign "was overtaking his work as a supervisor." He said he cannot run a "targeted, full-time race" while simultaneously tending to county business, according to the newspaper. Its unclear if any other prominent Stafford County Democrat will step in to challenge Howell....

By Tim Craig  |  March 4, 2009; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Cuccinelli Stays Away From Two-Term Pledge

If there is one person who is probably paying close attention to the race for the GOP nomination for attorney general, it's Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R). After deciding last year not to run for governor this year, Bolling will be the early favorite to win the GOP nomination for governor in 2013. But Bolling's path to the nomination could hinge on whether a Republican wins this year's race for attorney general. If recent history is any guide, a Republican attorney general will also be a strong contender for the nomination for governor in 2013. But John Brownlee, a GOP candidate for attorney general, pledged over the weekend he will not challenge Bolling in 2013 if he is elected this year. "If Bill and I are both fortunate enough to win this November, I will be prepared to endorse Bill for Governor the moment he decides to run for that...

By Tim Craig  |  March 4, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Moran Set To Begin Radio Ad in Hampton Roads

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran will launch his first radio ad tomorrow, according to sources to familiar with his strategy. The ad will target African-American voters in Hampton Roads. In the ad, former delegate Mary Christian of Hampton praises Moran for his service. "As someone who served side-by-side with Brian for more than a decade, I can tell you personally that he's always been there and will always be there for us," said Christian, who in 1985 was elected the first African-American delegate from Hampton since Reconstruction. "Brian Moran grew up working class and he knows what it means to struggle." Moran's decision to launch a radio campaign comes six weeks after Terry McAuliffe, also a candidate for the nomination, begain airing radio and television ads in Hampton Roads. McAuliffe's ads have also largely been targeted at black voters....

By Tim Craig  |  March 3, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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Foster Said Va Beach Supports Him in AG Race

David M. Foster, a Republican candidate for attorney general, claims he's won a majority of the delegates to the state GOP convention from Virginia Beach. Foster said Virginia Beach will have the second highest number of total delegates to convention on May 29 to 30 behind Fairfax County. I'm excited that our campaign is continuing to build on the momentum we started in Alexandria," said Foster, referring to his claim that he also won a majority of delegates from Alexandria. "This victory in Virginia Beach should make it clear that Republicans statewide are responding to my message of common sense conservative solutions to the real problems Virginians face."...

By Tim Craig  |  March 3, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Goodlatte Endorses Brownlee

John Brownlee, the former top prosecutor for Virginia's western district, announced today that U.S. Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.) endorsed him in the race for attorney general. "I have known John Brownlee for many years. I know him to be a dedicated public servant, a good family man and a solid conservative,'' Goodlatte wrote. "John's conservative values, his military service and - especially - his prosecutorial experience uniquely qualify him for the position of attorney general." Brownlee faces two other Republicans -- state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) and David M. Foster, former chairman of the Arlington County School Board. Only one Democrat, Del. Stephen C. Shannon (D-Fairfax), has announced his intention to run. Brownlee also is being supported by Jerry Falwell, Jr., chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 2, 2009; 8:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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