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McDonnell's First Stop

Anita Kumar

More than 500 enthusiastic supporters turned out in Annandale today to cheer on Republican Robert F. McDonnell as he officially began his campaign for governor.

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf and former congressman Tom Davis greeted McDonnell, his wife, Maureen, a former Washington Redskins cheerleader, and all of his five children at a fire station. Eldest daughter Jeanine, 28, a former Army lieutenant who served in Iraq, introduced him.

McDonnell began his six-day "New Jobs, More Opportunities" tour of the state with a mostly positive speech outlining broad policy goals that focus on creating jobs and boosting the economy, partly by cutting bureaucratic red tape to allow Virginians to open a business in 48 hours. He mentioned jobs 19 times.

"To every Virginian who has lost their job, to every small-business owner trying to make payroll, to every retiree afraid to look at their retirement account, to every homeowner struggling to make the next mortgage payment, to every parent worried about writing that next tuition and book check: This campaign is for you," he said to cheers.

The diverse crowd included dozens of members of the region's vast Asian community. Supporters waved printed red, white and blue "McDonnell for Governor" signs and handmade signs that said "Bob 4 Jobs," "Welcome Home Bob" and "More Energy, More Jobs."

McDonenell left North Virginia for stops in Richmond, Virginia Beach and Roanoke.

C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, followed McDonnell at the first three stops.

"When it comes to the core issues of our economy and creating jobs, Bob McDonnell just isn't on our side," Cranwell said. "Bob McDonnell's got a tough sell if he aims to convince Virginians that he's different from the obstructionist Bob McDonnell that I've known for 15 years."

Cranwell was joined in Annandale by several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, Senate Caucus Chairwoman Mary Margaret Whipple, House Caucus Leader Ken Plum, Sen. Chap Petersen and Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova.

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and former delegate Brian Moran are competing for the Democratic nomination.

By Anita Kumar  |  March 28, 2009; 9:11 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Thomas M. Davis III  
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I wonder if McConnell, Deeds, or Moran were also holding a fundraiser in Upstate NY this weekend?

No? Just Terry McAuliffe you say? Well spending time raising money at a bar in Syracuse for a race in Virginia makes a lot of sense right?

Posted by: BurtReynolds | March 29, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Good catch, Burt. McAuliffe creeps me out.

But anyways, McDonnell gave a great speech in Annandale. He came off better than on his website video, talked about his background, and mentioned some good ideas for Virginia.

It's all online:

Posted by: Simon23p | March 30, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

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