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McAuliffe Is First to Submit Petitions, May Get Top Spot

Christopher Dean Hopkins

Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, and Jody W. Wagner, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, were the first candidates today to submit the needed petitions to get on the ballot for the June 9 Democratic primary.

To secure a spot on the ballot, candidates need to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including the signatures of at least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. If McAuliffe and Wagner's signatures are verified, they will both gain the top spots on the ballot.

McAuliffe said he submitted 17,243 valid signatures. Wagner said she submitted 17,858.

Although it is debatable whether it matters whose name appears first on the ballot, the petition drives often are viewed as an early indicator of a campaign's organizational skills.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, also a Democratic candidate for governor, plans to submit his signatures later this month. The third candidate in the race, Brian Moran, had been expected to submit his today, but Moran spokesman Jesse Ferguson said the campaign decided to hold off until later this week. Ferguson said the campaign needs extra time to verify that all of its signatures have been properly notarized.

At the State Board of Elections office, both McAuliffe and Wagner brought supporters to watch them submit their signatures.

When McAuliffe was asked if he would like Wagner to be his running mate in the fall, he responded, "I love everybody." When Wagner was asked the same question, she responded, "I would be thrilled to have any of the three Democrats on the ticket running with me."

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 24, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig  
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That's interesting about Brian because I know they were paying groups $1 for each signature they got for him.

Posted by: UVANick | March 24, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

well uvanick, since your comments are all over blogs, that is a lie about moran paying. more crap from the mcawful campaign.
talk about paying for things. how bout 39 tables at jj with people reading from cue cards. It was a joke.
how bout a large paid staff cause no one will work for him for free.
nice try.

Posted by: lgb2931 | March 24, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

it's not a lie. i am in a yd group in nova, and brian's campaign (along with others) told us they would contribute $1 to our group for every signature we got for them.

Posted by: dcgal4 | March 24, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

lgb2931 - Interesting. Would you like to do a little fact check before saying someone is writing a lie? It's not a bad thing per se to offer $1 for picking up a signature to groups. I mean, evidently the Moran campaign can afford it. I said I was just surprised considering the circumstances.

Posted by: UVANick | March 24, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

i didn't think it was a bad thing at all - at least they were trying to utilize the younger crowd!

Posted by: dcgal4 | March 24, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

McAuliffe is a carpetbagger - 'nuff said.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | March 24, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if the Moran campaign had been paying more people they could have filed on time!

Posted by: bk1969 | March 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse


Several campaigns paid people for petition signatures including Moran and Bowerbank. It's very well known because the campaigns solicited it from hundreds of people.

I guess you're not in the loop.

Posted by: FederalGraphics | March 24, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It drives me crazy when people call Terry a carpetbagger. First of all, I notice Moran's campaign has been doing it, and Terry has lived in Virginia nearly as long as Moran has. Moran's lived in Virginia for about 25 years, Terry has lived in Virginia for about 20 years.

But that's not a smear on either candidate, because really, who cares? This isn't the 1850's where we're worried about protecting our antebellum plantations from the Yanks. We live in a mobile society now, and especially among the educated (who I hope we want governing us), it's rare to find someone who hasn't lived in different places during their adult lives.

As my governor, my biggest priority is to have the person who will do the best job. Frankly, Terry is such a fixture in the business community that he can't help but to use those connections to improve our state's economy. He's been hitting these people up for donations to the Dems for years and years, what makes you think he also can't hit these same people up to move their headquarters or satellite offices to Virginia. This isn't some patriotic contest about who can best wrap themselves in the Virginia state flag, this is about who's going to do the best for my wallet and my transportation, and while he have a huge personality and people may have divergent opinions on him, there's no doubt Terry is the best option for Virginia.

Posted by: mganley3 | March 24, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Signatures from voters is all well and good, but it's really about who can buy the most television.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 24, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Impressive accomplishment for Jody Wagner to collect more signatures than the McAuliffe machine. It shows that she is a well-organized workhorse which is just what I look for in a candidate.

Posted by: gothope | March 24, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

How is it possible that Terry is a serious candidate? Is the Democratic party in Virginia so lacking in viable candidates who are truly from Virginia?

Posted by: JohnRice | March 24, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Jody. Your achievement is a true indication of your grassroots support and organization, and I am so glad I voted for winners at the Connolly straw poll :)

When the elections for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairperson were held, I volunteered at my polling station to collect petitions for McAuliffe and what an experience that was. Voters were more willing to sign petitions, stand and chat towards afternoon and evening, the early morning folks were rushing in and out before work, and it was as cold as cold could be!

The voters were very clear, they had focus on one issue - who is best qualified to grow our economy and bring new jobs to Virginia. Without exception, every one who signed the petition made it clear they supported McAuliffe because he had the best business experience, and he has demonstrated over the years that he does not take "No" for an answer. He has shown his ability to raise funds for politics - now he will use the same skills and contacts to bring new business to Virginia and to help Virginia businesses export their products and services, using his global contacts and relationships.

When Terry is Governor, he has said he will wake up every morning with a clear understanding that his job is to protect our jobs.

Most importantly, Terry has the confidence that he can and will win on his merits, and has very consciously instructed his campaign and supporters that he will run a clean campaign without saying anything negative about Moran and Deeds.

Posted by: alankrishnan | March 24, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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