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Deeds Will Not Speak At Shad Planking

Anita Kumar

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sen. R. Creigh Deeds will not appear at next week's Shad Planking, a longtime Virginia tradition where politicians come to see and be seen.

Deeds' decision is surprising because appearing at the Shad Planking is considered a must-do for statewide candidates.

"It's highly unusual,'' said Robert W. Bain, chairman of the Wakefield Ruritan Club, which organizes the event.

The three other gubernatorial candidates -- Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran and Republican Robert F. McDonnell -- will attend.

Instead, Deeds will spend April 15 in southwest Virginia with U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) to try to woo undecided voters.

"Creigh Deeds and Congressman Boucher will make several stops across Southwest Virginia to talk with undecided voters about the Deeds plan to put Virginia's hard-working families first," said Joe Abbey, Deeds' campaign manager. "Creigh looks forward to attending next year's Shad Planking as the governor of Virginia."

Deeds' family still plans to attend the event.

The Shad Planking, where Democrats used to pick their candidates for local offices, has been a Virginia tradition for 60 years. Most statewide candidates set up booths and dole out free beer, cigars and hot dogs. About 1,300 people have bought tickets as of today.

By Anita Kumar  |  April 6, 2009; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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That's unfortunate. Creigh Deeds has worn himself out criss-crossing the state to talk with voters. I've heard him in person half a dozen times myself. I'm stunned he won't be there. But maybe he heard McAuliffe is bussing in his traveling Greek Chorus and decided to give the manufactured enthusiasm a miss. Can't blame him for that . . .

Posted by: csread | April 6, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Given that Deeds lost 45 days of campaigning and fundraising to Moran and McAuliffe while meeting his commitment as an elected official in Richmond, I would think he wants to use every available moment to meet as many voters as he can across the state. If the debate on the Internet is any indication, I think many (though by no means all) politically involved people have made up their mind or are strongly leaning in a candidate's direction. On the other hand, 52% of the people in Southwest Virginia are undecided, according to the most recent PPP poll. Seems like the smart move, to me.

Posted by: aznew | April 6, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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