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Wilder...Will He or Won't He?

Anita Kumar

L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor who is being wooed by all four candidates in the governor's race, sure likes to keep everyone guessing.

Four weeks before the June 9 primary, Wilder still won't say whether he will endorse anyone. He said he may follow the lead of the state's top three Democrats -- Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and U.S. Sens. James Webb and Mark R. Warner -- and sit out the primary.

"If (Kaine) won't, Webb hasn't, Warner hasn't, why should I? Why?'' Wilder asked In a recent interview at his office at Virginia Commonwealth University. "Why should I endorse anyone?"

Wilder predicted a low turnout for the first Democratic nomination battle in decades. He estimated four to six percent of registered voters -- roughly 200,000 to 300,000 people --will go to the polls.

"It will be a hotly contested race in November, but no one is paying attention now,'' he said. "There is very little interest."

Wilder said he hopes that no matter who wins what is quickly becoming a hard-fought nasty primary -- R. Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe or Brian Moran -- that the three work to defeat Republican nominee Bob McDonnell in November.

"They are going to be more bitter, more abrasive with each other in the next several weeks,'' Wilder said of the Democrats. "Will there be enough congealing after the primary? I hope so."

By Anita Kumar  |  May 13, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Smart man!

Posted by: biffgriff | May 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

In my neighborhood I see the Black political class split down the middle between McAuliffe and Deeds. The Marsh folks go for Deeds and the Wilder allies go for McAuliffe. Not sure what it means, just offering my observation.

Posted by: conradma | May 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

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