Archive: June 2009

Va. Democratic Party Hit With Fine

The Democratic Party of Virginia has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission, related to deficiencies in the party's financial disclosure forms dating to 2006. The FEC reports that they found problems with DPV's financial disclosure forms through routine reviews of their filings. The FEC said it sent DPV 31 different requests for additional information related to its 2006 filings, of which the party failed to respond, responded inadequately or responded late to 16. Problems included mathematical discrepancies and some excessive or impermissible contributions....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 30, 2009; 4:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Moran Bags It--For a Good Cause

Attention on aisle 3: Yes, Safeway shoppers, that is U.S. Rep. James P. Moran. Moran is bagging groceries today at the Safeway at the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria from noon to 1. Why? Well, because who doesn't enjoy having a powerful person bag their groceries? Also, to help out Safeway's annual campaign to fight prostate cancer. The company raises money each year to aide prostate cancer research--it's raised almost $42 million over the last nine years. Appearances like Moran's raise awareness and encourage giving....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 30, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kaine Appears With Obama, Raises Money

This time it wasn't so difficult to find Gov. Tim Kaine. We just looked at President Obama's schedule. Kaine will appear with Obama tomorrow at a healthcare townhall at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spent Monday in New York and Washington on party business. Tonight, he will appear at a fundraising reception for Del. David Poisson at the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls....

By Anita Kumar | June 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds Wins SEIU Support

The first endorsements of the general election are starting to roll in. Today, Democrat Creigh Deeds won the support of the Service Employees International Union, which has more than 5,000 members in Virginia. SEIU will be the first in a long line of labor unions standing behind Deeds. "Hardworking women and men simply cannot afford to slip any farther behind in this economy, and they want their next governor to not just understand their concerns but to fight for them,'' SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said. "Senator Deeds has an impressive record fighting on behalf of working families and has earned his reputation as a consensus builder who the working families of Virginia can count on."...

By Anita Kumar | June 30, 2009; 9:10 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kaine: Governor of NJ?

Vice President Joe Biden, well known for his verbal gaffes, accidently introduced Tim Kaine as the "great governor of New Jersey" this weekend at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington. You'd think Biden would remember Kaine a little bit better. Not only is Virginia's governor chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he was one of the three finalists for the job Biden eventually won. The event wasn't a total loss for Kaine. The chairman helped the DNC raise $1 million at the 10th annual LGBT Leadership Council fundraiser....

By Anita Kumar | June 29, 2009; 8:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

State GOP Disappointed in Kaine

Pat Mullins, leader of the state GOP, said this morning that he is "disappointed" that Gov. Tim Kaine refused to release his full calendar, which would include his work as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. But, Mullins said, the Republican Party has decided not to pursue the Freedom of Information Act request further in court. "As a Virginia resident, I continue to believe that the people have the right to know where their elected governor is, especially when he leaves the boundaries of the commonwealth for political business unrelated to the concerns of the taxpayers of Virginia,'' Mullins said. Repeated attempts to review Kaine's schedule by the Washington Post have been unsuccessful. The requests made through the governor's office, the DNC and Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, have been denied or gone unanswered....

By Anita Kumar | June 29, 2009; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hot and Heavy House Races This Year

The paperwork is in and the names are filed, and it's official: 2009 will be the most competitive election year in Virginia in more than a decade. According to an analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project, 57 of 100 House districts in Virginia feature major-party challenges -- a higher number than any other year going back to 1997. It's not saying much in a state with a pretty sorry record on such matters -- i.e. 33 competitive races two years ago -- but it's something. Democrats, just six seats shy of taking back the House after a decade in the minority, are gunning for the usual suspects this year: Dave Albo and Tom Rust in Fairfax; Bob Marshall and Jeff Frederick's open seat in Prince William; Phil Hamilton in Newport News; and others. (They missed challenge opportunities in the 31st and 33rd districts, though, where Scott Lingamfelter of Prince...

By Amy Gardner | June 29, 2009; 8:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Experts Weigh in on Keys to November Victory

The Post's editorial staff surveyed some of the top names in Virginia politics and punditry, asking what it will take for Creigh Deeds or Bob McDonnell to win the governor's mansion in the fall. The results range the spectrum. Gov. Tim Kaine thinks the election is about continuing the governing approach advanced by he and former Gov. Mark Warner. So does top Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee. But analyst and blogger Bob Holsworth warns Deeds not to tie himself too closely to Warner and Kaine in an uncertain times; voters will want to see Deeds be his own man. Author Garrett Epps and Republican strategist J. Kenneth Klinge agree the race will likely be won in the suburbs. Republican Del. H. Morgan Griffith says both candidates should master the policy details because voters are itching for substance. The selections all make for some very interesting reading. They'll be published in tomorrow's...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 27, 2009; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kaine to Mullins: No Travel Records For You

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today declined to release his daily schedule since January, when he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee, despite a Freedom of Information Act request to do so from the Republican Party of Virginia. Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran said, although the governor releases his public schedule every week, private meetings are exempt from disclosure as are records of his schedule that relate to is work for the DNC, which is not a public entity. Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP, had also asked for all records relating to the cost to state taxpayers of the governor's out-of-state travel, but Tran said those records are not with the Governor's Office but with the Virginia State Police. Kaine has come under increasing scrutiny in the press and from Republicans for his travels as DNC chairman, some of which has occurred on weekdays and taken him away from...

By Amy Gardner | June 26, 2009; 6:20 PM ET | Comments (2)

Deeds Takes Fire From Gingrich Group

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds is under fire in a full-page newspaper ad in Charlottesville that demands that he take a stand on a federal energy bill that could come up for a vote on Capitol Hill today. The ad was paid for by American Solutions for Winning the Future, an organization founded and led by former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The group launched a major media campaign this week to defeat the federal bill, which it terms a "national energy tax." Click here to view the ad....

By Amy Gardner | June 26, 2009; 1:53 PM ET | Comments (1)

Davis: 'Probably Not' on Cyber Czar

Tom Davis, the former Republican congressman from Fairfax County and now a director with Deloitte's Federal Government Services division, said he (probably) won't take a job as President Obama's new cyber security czar. Although Davis prefaced his remarks by saying, "Never say never," he said the job's scope and authority are too uncertain. He also said he is pretty darn happy at Deloitte, where, presumably, he makes a little more than he did in Congress (and than he would as cyber czar). "If I were going to stay in government, I think I would have stayed in Congress," Davis said. "I wish them well."...

By Amy Gardner | June 26, 2009; 11:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

DPV Gets Interim Director

Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell has alerted state Democrats that the party has named an interim executive director. Leigh Anne Collier will fill the job through November. Collier served as deputy executive director for finance and operations from March 2008 until February. Collier replaces Levar Stoney, who left the party to work as political director for state Sen. Creigh Deeds' campaign for governor....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 25, 2009; 9:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Under the Wire

Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement today "applauding" Virginia for finalizing, with 12 days to spare, its list of transportation projects to be funded under the federal stimulus plan. OK, every state probably got its own "way-to-go" letter (as evidenced by the link above, which will send you to a generic version of the Virginia letter that went out via e-mail). But Virginia's is a bit more significant, because as Anita Kumar reported last week, Virginia was the last state to submit its list of shovel-ready projects to the federal government. The deadline was June 29....

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 25, 2009; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rumors Untrue, Say Hudgins, Hyland

Cathy Hudgins and Gerry Hyland would like to set the record straight: neither is stepping down from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Rumors have been swirling that Hudgins got a job at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and would be resigning from the board. Completely false, Hudgins said Thursday. "I have not gotten a job at HUD. I did not apply for a job at HUD. They have not offered me a job at HUD," said Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), adding that she plans to run for reelection when her third term expires in two years. "I'm having a good time doing what I do and I expect to be here a long time." Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) said earlier this week that he was rather taken aback to learn that a number of fellow Democrats have already announced their interest in running for his seat. He believes...

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 25, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine's Travel Adventures

View An Often-Absent Governor in a larger map Despite saying he would largely conduct Democratic National Committee work on weekends, Gov. Tim Kaine spent yesterday in Philadelphia on DNC business. He will do the same next Monday when he travels to New York. The Washington Post has learned that Kaine, the new DNC chairman, has been to North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio in recent months in addition to attending frequent fundraisers across the state and in Washington. Read our story today here. Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a nonprofit group in Washington that monitors government ethics issues, said in an interview this week that he did not think Kaine should have taken the DNC job while he was still governor, but since he did he should be upfront about what he is doing. "If he is going to do two jobs he has to do...

By Anita Kumar | June 25, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

McDonnell: No Money Directly from Sanford

It looks like Bob McDonnell has not received any donations from Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who today acknowledged an affair with a woman in Argentina was to explain for his recent mysterious disappearance from the state he leads. McDonnell must be breathing a sigh of relief not to have the Republican governor's name on his donor rolls. McDonnell has taken money--lots and lots of money--from the Republican Governor's Association while it was chaired by Sanford, however. (Sanford announced today he was resigning the RGA's top post.) That means there are photos of the two together. Do the pics say much about anything? Not really. But they're mildly embarrassing to McDonnell, so they're getting posted about on the blogs....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 24, 2009; 6:22 PM ET | Comments (3)

McDonnell Returns to Airwaves

The television ads are returning. After just a couple of weeks of politics-free airwaves, a spokeswoman for Bob McDonnell confirms he will begin airing ads again at the end of this week. Ads will go up in downstate markets--Bristol, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville--all will receive McDonnell ads. We don't yet know what the ads will be about, but they've already made their way into a fundraising appeal for McDonnell rival Creigh Deeds. "I wanted you to be the first to know: I just learned that Bob McDonnell will begin running ads across Virginia starting in the next 48 hours," Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey wrote in an email to supporters. Abbey goes on to say that Deeds hopes to raise $100,000 online by June 30. UPDATE: Here's the first one, "Resurgence":...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 24, 2009; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Amundsen to Retire, Surovell to Run

Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) announced today she was retiring after ten years in the House. Amundson, who has her own communications firm, said she was stepping down at the end of her term this year for financial reasons. "For most of these years, I have been able to put together enough freelance and consulting work to allow me to continue in public office," she wrote in a letter to constituents. "All that changed with the recession. Among the cutbacks that many businesses have made are the consulting services that made up the bulk of my income. Campaigning is a full time job. So I have made the difficult decision not to run for reelection to the House of Delegates." Running for her eastern Fairfax County seat will be Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chairman Scott A. Surovell. Surovell, who is no stranger to this blog, said he will resign from...

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 24, 2009; 12:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

Kaine on Travel

Gov. Tim Kaine said today that the Democratic National Committee has agreed to reimburse Virginia for the travel costs for his security detail when he travels for the DNC. The DNC also reimburses the costs of Kaine's own travel. "The idea is no state costs for out-of-state trips," he said, noting that similar reimbursement has not occurred with previous governors--hint, hint, former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Gilmore....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 23, 2009; 4:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine's Latest Fundraising Trips

We may not know when Gov. Tim Kaine is flying around the country for the DNC, but we are starting to get a better idea of when he is doing his in-state fundraising. Tonight, Kaine attended at a fundraiser for Del. Chuck Caputo at the Centreville home of Steve and Lu Ann McNabb, friends of a family of a Tech student who died in the 2007 shootings. Tomorrow night, he is expected at a fundraiser for Del. Joe Morrissey at Old City Bar in Richmond. Saturday afternoon, he will head to Virginia Beach for a barbeque with Sen. John Miller and a fundraiser for Del. Joe Bouchard. No word on whether Kaine is heading out of state this week for DNC fundraising trips. As usual, we will let you know when we know....

By Anita Kumar | June 22, 2009; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Barbour Helps Raise $250,000 for McDonnell

It seems like every Republican considering a possible presidential run in 2012 is coming to Virginia to help Bob McDonnell and, in the process, raising their profile in the swing state. Haley Barbour was just the latest. The Mississippi governor is spending the day with McDonnell at fundraisers in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Alexandria. The Richmond event at the Marriott was attended by House Speaker Bill Howell and Attorney General Bill Mims, among others. The three events are expected to raise $250,000....

By Anita Kumar | June 22, 2009; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Howell Refutes Kaine on Transportation

Last Sunday, Gov. Tim Kaine wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post blaming state transportation woes on House Republicans. Today, House Speaker Bill Howell offers his response. Check it out here. For a few years, transportation was the issue in Virginia. It died down this year, but these two pieces are a clear sign that transportation will play a significant role in this year's House elections....

By Anita Kumar | June 21, 2009; 1:52 PM ET | Comments (4)

Longtime Deeds Aide Departs for Hill

Creigh Deeds' campaign is going through a lot of changes as it heads into the general election. We told you about his many new hires a couple days ago. Now word is out that his longtime aide Peter Jackson is leaving. Jackson, who worked on Deeds' 2005 unsuccessful campaign for attorney general, had served as executive director of the Future Deeds political action committee, spokesman and senior advisor. Jackson was the guy with the institutional memory and his departure is surprising considering he was one of Deeds' longest serving aides. On Monday, he will start a new job as communications director for the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP. "Even though I'll be working on the other side of the Potomac, don't be surprised to see me putting up yard signs and helping out Creigh's campaign in whatever way I can,'' he wrote in an email to friends.yesterday....

By Anita Kumar | June 20, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

AG's Debate Going Forward

The first debate between attorney general candidates Ken Cuccinelli and Steve Shannon is going forward as planned tomorrow, despite some squabbling between the campaigns about debate rules that had threatened to derail the event. Shannon's camp had wanted Cuccinelli to agree to a "no use" clause that would prohibit both sides from using video of the event on their websites or in campaign ads. Cuccinelli's camp didn't want to make that kind of deal. We're told the candidates themselves stepped in and hammered out the deal: Both sides can post the debate on their sites and use clips from the debate, provided whole answers are used. No 3-second snippets allowed. What's the upshot? Both sides will video the debate and post it quickly on their websites tomorrow. Good news for those unable to make it down to the 9:45 a.m. event. UPDATE: Roman Levit of the Shannon campaign has called...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 19, 2009; 2:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

UPDATED: GOP Wonders: Where Is Kaine?

After reading that Gov. Tim Kaine has been in Chicago and Kansas City in the last couple weeks, Virginia Republicans are asking just where Kaine's job as chairman of the Democratic National Committee is taking him. The Republican Party of Virginia has sent a public records request for Kaine's schedule to the governor's office and produced a video mocking him for his repeated absences from the state. We've asked repeatedly for Kaine's various gubernatorial and political schedules, so far with no success -- if you attend or hear about an out-of state appearance, let us know. But make no mistake that the Republicans are not asking just for the sake of public information. They are trying to tarnish the reputation of a popular governor in a election year in which a Democrat is trying to ride his coattails into the governor's mansion....

By Anita Kumar | June 19, 2009; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

First Gov Debate is On

The traditional has now become the official. The Virginia Bar Association announced today that Sen. Creigh Deeds and former Attorney General Bob McDonnell have agreed to allow the association to host the two men's first debate. The VBA has been hosting debates early in the election season for decades and everyone had already been assuming they'd do so again this year. The Deeds/McDonnell showdown has been set for 11 a.m. on July 25 at the Homestead, giving Deeds a bit of home field advantage. Dean Rodney Smolla of Washington & Lee School of Law will moderate....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 19, 2009; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine Jets Off To Kansas City

We told you the other day that we weren't sure where Gov. Tim Kaine's travels as DNC chairman were taking him. He sure isn't telling us. But today, we learned he will be in Kansas City tomorrow. Thanks to the folks at the Kansas City Star, we know Kaine will be at the home of Mira and Kris Flint of Kansas City for a fundraiser for Organizing for America, a group that pushes President Obama's policies. (The original newspaper post called Kaine the former governor of Virginia, but they quickly corrected their mistake). Kaine's official schedule as governor lists public events Monday and Tuesday and nothing for the rest of the week. No word from the DNC on his event tomorrow. But we did hear he appeared at a fundraiser for Del. David Toscano Tuesday in downtown Charlottesville. We'll keep our eyes open for Kaine's other trips and let you...

By Anita Kumar | June 18, 2009; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds, McDonnell in Tight Race Already

Another day, another new poll suggesting that the general election campaign kicks off with two pretty evenly matched opponents. Today's numbers come from Daily Kos/Research 2000 and, like other polls the Post typically blogs about, used live callers to interview voters. Their sample was 600 and they called from June 15 to 17, so definitely after the primary. What did they come up with? Bob McDonnell 45 percent, Creigh Deeds 44 percent. That's about as tied as polls come, particularly given that this one comes with a 4 percent margin of error....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 18, 2009; 3:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

DGA Sends Deeds $$$

Consider it the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. The Democratic Governors Association gave Creigh Deeds $100,000 last Wednesday -- a much-needed financial boost a day after a tough three-way primary in which Deeds spent every penny he could on TV ads. So far, the DGA has spent more than $3 million in Virginia's closely watched governor's race. Almost all of it has gone to Common Sense Virginia, a political action committee formed to attack Republican Bob McDonnell. McDonnell has received $1.95 million from the Republican Governors Association. You can expect both McDonnell and Deeds to receive millions more before this election is over....

By Anita Kumar | June 18, 2009; 8:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Felan, Hall, Leopold: Deeds Campaign Goes A'Hiring

Lots of new hires over in Deeds land, as the campaign bulks up for the general election. And the names are a familiar sprinkling of known Democratic operatives from past Virginia campaigns. Take Matt Felan, who served as the executive director of Gov. Tim Kaine's political action committee Moving Virginia Forward, as well as deputy national finance director for Hillary Clinton. Deeds has brought on Felan to serve as his finance director. Other new hires include Mark Giangreco as policy director--Giangreco last worked for Terry McAuliffe's campaign. Also on board, Mike Gehrke as director of communications--Gehrke's worked for two presidential campaigns....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 17, 2009; 8:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds Camp Picks Up Dems Chief

Guess how soon-to-be Creigh Deeds' political director and soon-to-be-former executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia Levar Stoney got his start in politics? He was an intern in college for former Terry McAuliffe campaign manager Mike Henry. It's kind of a theme on the Deeds campaign, where lots of top staffers credit Henry, a Virginia campaign veteran, with introducing them to the opportunities of being a full-time political operative. "I think he taught a lot of us that you can be serious about politics, but you can have fun as well," Stoney said....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 17, 2009; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

UPDATED: Gingrich's Group Sends Letter to Deeds, McDonnell

Newt Gingrich's American Solutions will send letters to gubernatorial candidates, Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell this afternoon, asking them to oppose a federal proposal that the groups says would establish a national tax system on energy. "As leaders who aspire to lead Virginia forward, you have a responsibility to speak out now to protect the commonwealth from proposed laws that would kill jobs in Virginia,'' Dan Varroney, the group's senior vice president writes in his letter. "Your leadership responsibility is to help create Virginia jobs, not support their destruction (either actively or through silence)." American Solutions is kicking off a national campaign to oppose the bill in Congress. The push begins in Virginia with information being sent to the group's 55,000 members and an advertising blitz starting next week. Updated: Republican McDonnell responded swiftly -- as you would expect -- calling on Deeds and Gov. Tim Kaine to join him...

By Anita Kumar | June 17, 2009; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (6)

How Business-Friendly is Deeds?

Republican Bob McDonnell frequently talks about how he is the business friendly candidate in the governor's race. But what about his rival, Democrat Creigh Deeds? In newly released rankings from Virginia FREE, a Richmond-based coalition of businesses from across the state, Deeds received a 72 as his 2009 business ranking -- a score that that is based on this year's General Assembly voting record and incumbent evaluations done by leading business lobbyists. His score is higher than most other Democrats, but lower than most Republicans in the 40-member state senate. Twenty five senators have a higher ranking than him....

By Anita Kumar | June 17, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kaine Visits the Windy City

Didn't know Gov. Tim Kaine out of Virginia recently and in Chicago instead? We wouldn't either, if it weren't for our colleague Peter Slevin, who happened to spot him last week in the Windy City, where Kaine was doing some fundraising and outreach to Democratic volunteers who had been active in the Obama campaign. That's because Kaine does not release a full schedule of his travels and activities, citing security and privacy concerns. Instead, his governor's office puts out only a bare bones public gubernatorial schedule. It includes official trips he takes as governor but no private travel nor expeditions he makes in his role as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. See Gov. Kaine out and about or hear about another of his unscheduled stops? E-mail me....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 16, 2009; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

DGA Puts Out Virginia Poll

Maybe the most interesting thing about the poll released today about the Democratic Governor's Association is that the national group is already paying good coin to poll the Virginia race. And this poll couldn't have been cheap--unlike a lot of polls that use robocalling to reach voters, this one involved live phone interviews with 600 Virginia voters. (We have great hesitancy about polls that use the other method to survey voters, as explained by Post polling director Jon Cohen a while back.) It makes sense that the DGA would poll Virginia--the group has already spent $3 million on anti-Bob McDonnell advertising and they want to see if they're getting their money worth. They wouldn't have released the results if it didn't show their guy, Creigh Deeds, leading McDonnell....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 16, 2009; 3:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

Your Take: Who's the Moderate?

The general election for Virginia governor has opened with both candidates laying claim to the middle ground and the bipartisan backers of Mark Warner. Which of the candidates do you think has been closer to the political center since 2005? Vote in the poll below, and explain why you voted how you did in the comments. READER POLL...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 16, 2009; 2:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

State Revenues Fall Short of Even the Lowered Projections

Virginia budget numbers continue to erode as tax revenue falls in the down economy. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced yesterday that state revenue collections have dropped 9.3 percent this year, eclipsing an estimated drop of 7.3 percent. Revenue that feeds the state's general fund declined 15.6 percent compared with May 2008. The decline has come as individual and corporate income tax collections by the state have dropped dramatically, as have recordation tax collections. Other sources of state revenue have also been declining, including sales tax and lottery revenue. The General Assembly this year passed a two-year, $77 billion budget that closed a $3.7 billion shortfall, in part by employing $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money. The legislature also agreed to make deep cuts to services, and 379 state employees were laid off between July 1 and March 31. Kaine said the continued revenue drop means the state might have...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 15, 2009; 5:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Pens Email for Deeds

It looks like President Barack Obama wasn't kidding when he told Creigh Deeds last week that he plans to help in his election effort. Today went out the first of what we can only imagine will be several--or many--emails to Virginians signed by the president. In an email sent to the Virginia email list of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC's Obama project Organizing for America, Obama encouraged Democrats to "get involved" in Deeds election effort. We assume that means, among other things, to donate to Deeds. "I know a thing or two about tough primaries, and I know a thing or two about running tough races in Virginia. Creigh Deeds' victory once again shows the power of people at the grassroots to win elections and bring about lasting change -- and he will be a better candidate this fall because of his hard work to win the nomination,"...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 15, 2009; 4:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

McDonnell: The Next Mark Warner?

So, which gubernatorial candidate is most like Mark Warner? Mark Warner would tell you it's fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds. But, increasingly, Bob McDonnell, with his business degree and his roots in Northern Virginia, would have you believe it's him. Today, he rolls out another piece of his strategy to overtake Deeds' claim to the Warner legacy: Endorsements from a group of former elected officials, business leaders and other activists who have been Warner supporters....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 15, 2009; 2:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine: House Obstructing Transpo Solution

Gov. Tim Kaine picks up the pen today as Virginia's columnist-in-chief, addressing transportation in this morning's Washington Post. Check it out....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 14, 2009; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (1)

Democrats Rally Until the Rain Came

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the newly minted Democratic nominee for governor, clapsed hands with his party's elite, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, this afternoon at an outdoor rally as he pledged to follow in their footsteps if he wins in November. Deeds gave a brief but energetic speech promising to turn Virginia into a leader in renewable energy, make college more affordable and accessible and fix the state's transportation problems. "We are taking this state forward,'' Deeds said. "In this election the choices will be stark. Do we move back to failed policies of the past or do we move forward?" Deeds was joined for the first time by the rest of November's Democratic ticket -- lieutenant governor nominee Jody Wagner and attorney general nominee Steve Shannon -- and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, Rep. Bobby Scott, Dick Cranwell, chairman of the state Democratic party, and members of the General Assembly,...

By Anita Kumar | June 13, 2009; 5:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

McDonnell Walks Door to Door

Republican gubernatorial nominee spent the morning walking a small suburban neighborhood in the Stonewall voting precinct of Manassas, knocking on doors and greeting drivers of cars as they passed along the quiet street with local Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R). Stonewall is ground zero for what McDonnell hopes will be the resurgence of Republican voting in Virginia. It went heavily for McDonnell over Creigh Deeds in the 2005 attorney general's race, giving him 57 percent of votes. But last year the precinct backed President Obama. McDonnell said he believed that election was fought on federal issues like the Iraq war. He said November will be about local issues like schools, state energy policy, taxes and roads. Again and again, he reminded voters of his childhood in Fairfax County, a contrast from the rural Deeds. But, in a neighborhood that has undergone dramatic demographic shifts in recent years, many of the voters...

By Anita Kumar | June 13, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

A (Brief) Reprieve from the Ads

Tuesday's Democratic primary brought an end to all television ads in the govornor's race, including those attacking Republican Bob McDonnell paid for by the Democratic Governors Association. But it's unclear how long that will last. The future of the DGA-funded political action committee, Common Sense Virginia, which has spent nearly $3 million on ads criticizing McDonnell, remains uncertain. Creigh Deeds, the newly minted Democratic nominee, said he has not given any thought to whether those ads should continue. "I am sure we will have some conversations in the coming weeks,'' he said. "I have not put any thought into that." Emily DeRose, a DGA spokeswoman, also said no decisions have been made. "The future remains to be seen." Of course, regardless of who is paying, we know that the political ads for and against Deeds and McDonnell will be back. But maybe we will get a reprieve until the end...

By Anita Kumar | June 13, 2009; 4:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Moran, McAuliffe Supporters Glad At Least Its Deeds

An observation from this afternoon's event at the Silver Diner in Arlington featuring new Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and attended by quite a number of people who had been supporting Deeds' opponents in the primary battle. Supporters of both Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe said they were finding it easier to get on board for Deeds than they imagined they would have had their man lost to the other guy....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 12, 2009; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds, Dems On Tour

The royal family of Virginia Democratic politics are busy this week crowning the man they hope is their heir apparent. On Wednesday, newly anointed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds appeared with his former rivals and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at a big unity event in Richmond. Today's he's with former governor and now Sen. Mark Warner in Arlington. And tomorrow brings a family conclave--Deeds, Kaine, Warner and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb in Williamsburg, along with Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Jody Wagner and attorney general nominee Steve Shannon....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 12, 2009; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Wagner Challenges Bolling to Debates

Jody Wagner sure hit the ground running after her landslide victory in Tuesday's primary. This morning, Wagner, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, challenged Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) to a series of monthly debates across the state. That's a lot of debates -- more than we will likely see in any of the three statewide races. "I believe it's important that voters have a clear understanding of both candidates, including our records, priorities, and visions for the future,'' Wagner wrote to Bolling in a letter. "I believe voters throughout the commonwealth deserve to hear from both of us, so they're able to make informed decisions in November about the direction they believe is best for Virginia." Matt Wells, Bolling's campaign manager, said he looks forward to a "vigorous discussion of the candidate's qualifications, their records and their vision for the future of Virginia,'' but would not commit to a...

By Anita Kumar | June 12, 2009; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ambassador Beyer

President Obama appointed Don Beyer, a former Democratic lieutenant governor and a Northern Virginia car dealer, ambassador to Switzerland and the principality of Liechtenstein. Beyer was an early supporter of Obama in Virginia and served Obama's mid-Atlantic finance chairman during last year's campaign. He and his wife, Megan, raised more than $1.5 million for Obama. Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state in more than four decades....

By Anita Kumar | June 11, 2009; 7:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Federal Workers Union Endorses Deeds

From The Washington Post's Federal Eye blog: The American Federation of Government Employees has endorsed Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for Virginia governor, providing the state senator with a reliable stable of political foot soldiers in his race against Republican Robert F. McDonnell. The federal workers union -- the nation's largest -- represents 30,000 members in the Old Dominion, concentrated mostly in the voter-rich Northern Virginia region. "Senator Deeds has proven himself to be a friend of Virginia's working families", AFGE national vice presidents Joe Flynn and Dwight Bowman said in a statement. "Whether it has been fighting to create good jobs or writing some of the toughest legislation to keep our families and our environment safe and secure, Senator Deeds has shown that he can build the consensus necessary to keep Virginia moving forward." Matching words with actions, the union promises a significant voter mobilization effort as election day nears....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 11, 2009; 4:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Fairfax Republicans Express Optimism

Not keen to be overshadowed by this week's dramatic, show-stealing Democratic primary, the Fairfax County Republican Committee issued a statement today praising what chairman Anthony Bedell called "the strongest top-to-bottom Republican ticket we have fielded in a very long time." The party is fielding candidates in 15 out of the 16 House of Delegates seats in the county, compared with 6 out of 16 in 2007, the statement said. The county's Republicans have been energized by two strong showings in special elections in the Democratic-leaning county, including county Supervisor John Cook's win in the Braddock District in March, it continued. They "proved that the GOP is still a viable party in Fairfax," the statement said. UPDATE AND CORRECTION: As Fairfax County Democratic Chairman Scott Surovell noted in a follow-up release today, there are 17, not 16, House districts in Fairfax County. Fifteen of those races are contested this year....

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 11, 2009; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Deeds Camp Headed to NoVa

How important will Northern Virginia be in the upcoming general election for governor? Here's one indication: Creigh Deeds will soon be moving his campaign headquarters from Charlottesville to Northern Virginia, likely to Alexandria. Deeds said today that he will have offices all over the state, including an office in Charlottesville. But the HQ and top staff will be migrating north over the next few weeks....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 11, 2009; 12:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

Four Primary Lessons

After a day for digestion, we asked Mark J. Rozell, who has a good sense of Virginia, his takeaways so far from the Deeds blowout. Rozell is a professor of public policy at George Mason University, a certified pundit and a quote machine. Here are four: 1. Virginia primary voters are pragmatic "That goes against type quite frankly. Most of the political science literature will tell you that primary voters tend to be more ideological than pragmatic. But we've seen in some recent election cycles that Democratic voters in Virginia have gone for more middle-of-the-road candidates, and perhaps taken lessons from Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine. They understand that having a candidate who runs more to the middle is prescription for success in this state." 2. Republican conventioneers celebrated too soon "The last place anyone in Virginia would pop a champagne cork last night was the Bob McDonnell...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 7:46 PM ET | Comments (2)

Looking For Nuggets

It was just 24 hours ago that the results of Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary began flooding in. The result came faster and was more definitive than nearly anyone expected. It feels like it's been a lot longer than a day. Already President Obama has dipped his toes in with a call, and Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds have been racing through appearances and interviews like election day was just 145 days away. Wait. Election day is just 145 days away. Still, how about a deep breath. Some of the experts were way off in the run-up to Tuesday. In early May, two years after Brian Moran launched his bid for governor, his pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Inc. had Terry McAuliffe at 31 percent, Moran at 29 percent and Deeds at 18 percent. Tuesday's results had Deeds with about twice the support of either of his rivals. So what nuggets...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 6:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

Democrats Get Unified

Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds launched his general election campaign today at a solidarity rally with his two vanquished opponents and Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Terry McAuliffe, former DNC chairman, former delegate Brian Moran, and their senior campaign staff, milled around the state Democratic headquarters, many wearing blue Deeds stickers. Members of the exuberant crowd held massive blue letters spelling their new standard-bearer's name: D E E D S. "They both committed to help me anyway they can,'' Deeds said of his former rivals. "I'm going to hold them to that." Kaine met briefly with the three men behind closed doors. (Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on that wall?) "I want to begin by saying how proud I am of Virginia Democrats,'' Kaine said. "That our three great candidates would all get up and shelp down to Richmond for this and stand together...

By Anita Kumar | June 10, 2009; 6:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama, Biden and McDonnell

We told you a little earlier that newly minted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds spoke briefly to President Barack Obama at around 11 this morning. It turns out both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both called in the hours after he won his come-from-behind-victory Tuesday. "It was pretty cool," Deeds said of his brief call from Obama. "I like him a lot. He was just personable. He offered help. He had ideas. He had watched this campaign. He was knowledgeable about the approach we took to things." Deeds said Obama, then a U.S. senator, had campaigned with him previously in Norfolk and Richmond when Deeds was running for attorney general in 2005 against Republican Bob McDonnell....

By Anita Kumar | June 10, 2009; 5:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Late Hits

Commentators sometimes talk about Creigh Deeds' soft-edged demeanor or even his drawl in a way that suggests doubt about whether he has the mettle to take down a more polished politician such as Bob McDonnell. But as Deeds today continued settling into his role as his party's overwhelming choice, not just the guy in the middle, it's worth looking back at a key moment in the last formal debate between Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran. At the end of the Washington Post-sponsored debate at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Deeds ended up with the final closing statement. With his opponents unable to respond from the stage, Deeds lit into them both in a way that was closer to ruthless than soft-edged. Republican leaders had taken some enjoyment in seeing the Democrats run each other -- and their campaign accounts -- down. Today, Democrats said the tough race helped...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 5:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Getting Back Together After 'A Little Distance'

Beyond the cheering crowds and symbolism of today's unity rally in Richmond with Creigh Deeds and his rivals was a more sensitive and discrete task: Finding a way for Deeds to absorb and benefit from key staffers who have worked for months trying to defeat him. Talks are in early stages. But an effort is underway to shift key personnel and other resources to Deeds and joint efforts to elect Democrats in November. "All the sudden you have a lot of really talented, hard-working people...who are now ready to get behind the nominee. It's just kind of a matter of figuring out how it can happened," said Delacey Skinner, communications director for Terry McAuliffe's campaign. Old colleagues who worked together four years ago on the coordinated campaign to elect Tim Kaine as governor and Creigh Deeds as attorney general are back talking again, Skinner said. Staffers gathered in Richmond today...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds' Own Precinct Reports Margins Not Seen Since USSR

The results are in: Creigh Deeds did pretty well in his home precinct. The numbers in Deeds' Bath County voting spot (the Millboro precinct) looked like this, my colleague Freddy Kunkle reports: Deeds: 198 (97 percent) Terry McAuliffe: 6 (3 percent) Brian Moran: 0 Things were not quite so definitive for his rivals. Moran was strong at his Alexandria precinct, Temple Beth El Synagogue: Deeds: 140 (25 percent) McAuliffe: 68 (12 percent) Moran: 358 (63 percent) But McAuliffe had it tougher in Fairfax. Spring Hill: Deeds: 168 (55 percent) McAuliffe: 84 (28 percent) Moran: 52 (17 percent)...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 12:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds Talks to the President

We hear new Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds just finished up a phone call with President Barack Obama. Obama called to congratulate on his stunning victory in the primary yesterday. Deeds and Obama will need each other come November. Obama needs Deeds to bring home victory in Virginia since his fate will be widely perceived nationally as a referendum on the president's popularity in a very purple state. And Deeds will need Obama to make that happen, particularly in the urban Tidewater area where Deeds underperformed other successful statewide Democratic candidates in his 2005 race for attorney general against Bob McDonnell. Deeds was holding this morning's big unity press conference with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and former rivals Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe when his staff learned the call would be coming shortly. They ended the event early, natch....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 10, 2009; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (7)

That Was Fast

The general election campaign has begun. GOP candidate for governor Bob McDonnell has been all over drive time radio this morning. He scheduled a half dozen interviews in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, Winchester, Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C.'s WMAL to jump right into Northern Virginia. Here's what he said on WMAL:...

By Michael Laris | June 10, 2009; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Fix: Last Night's Winners and Losers

In his his morning briefing The Fix, aka The Post's Chris Cillizza, aka half the Mouthpiece Twins, offers up some winners and losers from the Democratic primary. WINNERS Deeds Ads: For a candidate little-known statewide and suffering a significant charisma deficit to at least one of his opponents, Deeds's ads were of critical importance in introducing himself to Virginia voters and making the case why he was the natural heir to the political legacies of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Thanks to David Dixon and Rich Davis, who have been with Deeds since he lost the attorney general's race by 323 votes in 2005, the nominee's ads stood out from the pack. Crisp and clean they cast Deeds as something of an everyman -- the kind of guy who is easy to vote for. Need to see what we are talking about? Go watch the Deeds ad touting his endorsement...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 10, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (3)

Commenters' Primary Reactions: Bitterness, Harmony

Washington Post blogger Doug Feaver, who looks for trends and themes in the Web site's comment threads, took a look at what readers were writing about last night's election: Our Readers Who Comment on R. Creigh Deeds' overwhelming victory Tuesday in the Virginia Democratic Primary for governor seem to be mostly Democrats and seem to think they have a good shot at winning the general election. They are also snarling at each other in a manner that reminds me of the taunts exchanged in the parking lot after a high school basketball game. Supporters of the two losing candidates are also mad at the Post -- and particularly its May 22 editorial that firmly endorsed Deeds. It'll take a week or two for party harmony to return. Read the full post on the dot.comments blog....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 10, 2009; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Video: Deeds Declares Victory at Rally

After winning the Virginia Democratic primary, state Sen. Creigh Deeds spoke to supporters at a rally in Charlottesville. Deeds defeated candidates Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran. Play Video VIDEO | Deeds Declares Victory at Rally See concession speeches by McAuliffe and Moran after the jump....

By washingtonpost.com editors | June 9, 2009; 10:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Area Dems. Win State House Primaries

Three area races for the state's House of Delegates moved forward today with Democratic candidates emerging from their primary campaigns. (Read tonight's story by Michael Laris for more on these races.) Perhaps the highest-profile victory was in District 52, where Luke E. Torian won out over Michael A. Hodge. The 52nd District seat is one the Democrats hope to take from outgoing Republican Rep. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the former state GOP chief. Torian will face Republican Rafael Lopez. In District 35, Mark L. Keam defeated John F. Carroll, Esam S. Omeish and Roy J. Baldwin handily. Keam will face Republican Jim Hyland for the right to succeed Stephen C. Shannon, who is running for Attorney General. And in District 47, Patrick A. Hope defeated Alan E. Howze, Adam J. Parkhomenko, Miles F. Grant and Andres Tobar. Hope is bidding to replace retiring Democratic Del. Albert C. Eisenberg. In District 38,...

By Washington Post Editors | June 9, 2009; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Discussion Excerpts: Marc Fisher on the Primaries

Earlier this evening Post Enterprise Editor Marc Fisher briefly resurrected his Potomac Confidential discussion series to take readers' questions about the election results. Excerpts: Fairfax, Va.: Ok, we had violent storms here in Northern Virginia (Moran's stronghold) and unpleasant weather farther south along the shore (McAuliffe's stronghold) but all things bright and beautiful in the Shenandoah Valley? Maybe God is trying to tell us something! Marc Fisher: But early word had very low turnout in the Shenandoah, so be careful of conclusions or predictions based on weather. Still, there's a school of thought that lousy weather keeps marginal voters away more than the party regulars for whom voting is a religion. If that holds true, it's indeed McAuliffe who would have the most to worry about--his is the strategy most dependent on luring back the Obama primary voters who were previously quite sour on the voting process....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 9:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine Congratulates Deeds

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine congratulated his party's candidate for governor in a statement released tonight. "The election of Senator Deeds tonight as the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor is an incredible victory for Virginia--and its citizens," Kaine's statement said. "Senator Deeds' victory is a clear signal Virginians want to keep our state moving forward, and I am pleased to extend my congratulations to my friend and colleague on this critical accomplishment."...

By Matt Mosk | June 9, 2009; 8:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Moran Concedes

At 8:06, former Del. Brian Moran conceded in the race for governor. About 50 Moran supporters filed into a sparse-looking ballroom at the Alexandria Hilton Mark Center, with many grimly watching the unofficial state results post to a giant screen. "Brian helped rebuild this party to a position of prominence so I'm very disappointed," said Michael Cook, 62, an attorney from Alexandria. He added that he thought the Post's editorial endorsement of Deeds "played a huge part" and was a "disservice."...

By Matt Mosk | June 9, 2009; 8:19 PM ET | Comments (1)

Deeds Overcomes Odds to Win Nomination

With the least money and fewest ties to vote-rich Northern Virginia, State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds won today's three-way Democratic primary for governor, paving the way for a rematch with Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall. Deeds, 51, a country lawyer from Bath County, was viewed as an unlikely winner against two Northern Virginians with entrenched political ties. Known for his moderate to conservative views on such issues as gun rights but also appreciated for his folksy style, Deeds was strong across the state, including Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties. Read the full story or see county-by-county results....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 8:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

Wagner Wins

Jody Wagner has beaten Mike Signer in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor....

By Amy Gardner | June 9, 2009; 7:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

The Clickocracy, Virginia Edition

If Creigh Deeds wins the Democratic primary tonight, it might be partly due to the fact that he blasted away the competition. Online -- that is. Starting at 3 p.m EST Monday, hours before polls opened across Virginia, Deeds's campaign bought what's called a "Google blast." Or, more appropriately, a Google attack. If you live in Northern Virginia (or, like many voters, work in D.C. but live in NoVa), Deeds has been almost inescapable on highly-trafficked sites such as washingtonpost.com, the blog Talking Points Memo and Oxygen.com, which is popular among women. Capitalizing on his Post endorsement, he peppered those sites with banner ads reading "The Washington Post endorsed one Democrat -- Creigh Deeds" until polls closed....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 7:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Some Thoughts From Quentin Kidd

Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University, drove around to predominantly African-American precincts in Hampton and Newport News today and was surprised at just how low turnout was. He was also surprised to see not a single campaign worker for Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman with the most formidable organization and war chest -- who declared his support among black leaders of Virginia virtually absolute. Like most of us, Quidd had no clue at 6 p.m. who will actually win. But he had some other thoughts on the race today. He believes the race will turn on the size of the African-American vote, turnout in general, and what happens in Northern Virginia. "Was the McAuliffe campaign a house of cards?" Quidd mused. "Was it a media creation, or was it real? You've got to win trust and build relationships in a campaign, and I'm...

By Amy Gardner | June 9, 2009; 7:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Candidates' Final Spin

Cross-posted from Chris Cillizza's The Fix: All three of the Democrats -- former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, former state Del. Brian Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds -- running for governor of Virginia held conference calls with reporters this afternoon to provide a final spin before polls close tonight at 7 p.m.. These calls -- as they are apt to be -- were largely newsless rehashes of the three campaigns basic arguments. (The Fix had a brief flashback to the 2008 presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in which both sides held a conference call every single day of that race. Shudder.) The Fix listened to these calls so Fixistas didn't have to. The spin coming out of each camp is below. Don't forget, you still have an hour (or so) to make your prediction on who wins tonight, by what percentage and what the storyline...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 5:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

Mayhem at the Polls

Today's t-storms caused only minor glitches for voters, cutting power at four polling places across the state but not affecting voting, state election officials said. Election officials followed contingency plans and used back-up battery equipment, so voting equipment was not affected. However, two voting locations were locked down for 45 minutes in Virginia Beach following reports that a gunman was in the area. No injuries were reported. One voter in Virginia Beach was asked to come back later. And in Prince William County, someone forgot to tell the custodian to open the doors at one polling location, so election officials followed their contingency plan and opened in a parking lot....

By Amy Gardner | June 9, 2009; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Turnout Numbers

The Post's reporters have gathered the following Virginia turnout data: Arlington: At 4:30 p.m., Linda Lindberg, head of Arlington County's election office, said that they think they are running at about 10-12 percent turnout in Arlington. The afternoon has been a little slow, she said, though the percentage could go up if voters swayed by the morning storm make it to the polls in the evening. Alexandria: By 1:45 p.m., 344 people had voted at City Hall -- 60 absentee ballots were cast -- out of 2,892 registered voters. About 6,000 voters across Alexandria had cast ballots by noon, according to a survey taken by election officials. "Frankly, that's more than I expected," said Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins, who has accurately predicted voter turnout in the last two elections. "But honestly, I didn't have a lot to go on. The last Democratic gubernatorial primary was 30 years ago." Typically, turnout...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 4:38 PM ET | Comments (2)

Got Election Questions? Ask Marc Fisher Tonight

The Post's Marc Fisher will bring his regular Potomac Confidential chat out of its very brief retirement at 7 p.m. for a special Election Night discussion. Go here to read the discussion, or go here to submit your questions about the campaigns, the polling places, the results, the upcoming general election or anything else on your mind....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 4:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Divided Voters in Falls Church

Sleepy Hollow Elementary School in Falls Church. By 8:30 a.m., the rain had slowed but there was a steady stream of voters entering the school along side elementary students in colonial dress, past L. Kaye Kory, holding a green umbrella, and a row of other campaigners. Deborah Blevis, 56, of Falls Church said she cast her ballot for Brian Moran. "It was more of an anti-McAuliffe vote," she said. "I don't think he can work across party lines." Blevis, a professor at Johns Hopkins, also voted for Kory, because she said she has been very effective as a leader on the School Board. Jan Engert, 51, and her husband Henry Gholz, 57, split their votes. Engert, a forest service employee, voted for McAuliffe. "National experience. National experience. A prominent name in the Democratic party. I know more about him." And she chose Kory, because the School Board member had knocked...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 3:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Capital Weather Gang: Severe Storms Will Hit Area Soon

The Post's official meteorologists are tracking a mass of nasty weather set to deluge the D.C. area starting at about 4 p.m. and lasting through the close of the polls and beyond. Turnout has been light so far for the Democratic primary, and this weather likely will prevent any improvement late in the day. See the radar loop for the region....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Coverage of Virginia Governor's Race Heats Up

Take a key presidential swing state and make it the setting for a hotly contested three-way Democratic primary, and what have you got? A recipe for intense interest from political bloggers and journalists from around the country. As Virginia voters hit the polls today, the Common theme of recent posts on WSJ's Capitol Journal and Jim Newell on The Daily Beast is "no one wants to be the candidate heading into Election Day with downward momentum."...

By Matt Mosk | June 9, 2009; 2:47 PM ET | Comments (1)

Deeds Votes

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds arrived at the polls in Millboro about 9:15 a.m. after a breakfast of Pop-Tarts. Dressed casually in Levis, a striped knit shirt and jogging shoes, Deeds sounded loose, tired and upbeat. He pulled up in a white Buick with his wife, Pam, and their 20-year-old son, Gus, and a cousin, Wes Shrader, at the wheel. "It's the end of this part of the journey," Deeds said of his run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. "I feel good, I feel positive. ... All the trends, all the momentum is going this way."...

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 1:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Have You Voted? Tell Us About It

Low turnout is being reported in the governor's race primary; we'd like to hear about your experiences at the polls today. Let us know in the comments where and when you voted and how many voters and campaign volunteers were around when you went. You can also let us know who you voted for in the poll below. READER POLL...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 1:46 PM ET | Comments (5)

Video: A Very Small Exit Poll

Washington Post videographer Anna Uhls talked with a dozen voters at Key Elementary School in Arlington, Va. Play Video VIDEO | Early Votes Cast for Virginia Primary For a funnier take on the election, see the first segment in Chris Cillizza and Dana Milbank's Mouthpiece Theater....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

More from Arlington Polls ...

At George Mason University's Arlington campus this morning, John and Kate Forbush ignored a light drizzle so they could cast their votes for Brian Moran. The young professionals live in Ballston and are both very interested in politics. They said they sent e-mail to friends reminding them to vote. But their experience echoed a theme of the day for Democrats: November's electricity has fizzled. "You can tell a huge difference," John Forbush said. "You can tell the energy from the presidential election was just sucked out of all our friends. ... Maybe because it's a primary, maybe because the candidates aren't well-known, people aren't really talking about the Democratic primary."...

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Moran Voter in Montclair

For now, Fred Lambe is for Brian Moran. Lambe, who lives in Montclair in Prince Williams County, said he voted for Moran today but might change his mind come November. He said he wants a governor who will best address transportation and the state budget deficit. "I look foward to the debates," he said. "Depending how each addresses the deficit and how it will impact me tax-wise, that's when I could leave my party line."...

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 1:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Two Views Near Route 29

At Fair Hill Elementary off Route 29 near Fairfax City poll workers said 97 people had voted as of 11 a.m. without a hitch. Here are two: Vinny Monacella, 83, said he voted for Creigh Deeds. It was an easy decision, he said. "He's been a politician for a long time, in a rural district and he hasn't been afraid to vote for issues that were important to Northern Virginia," he said. The one issue that stuck out in his mind: transportation. "That takes guts, because sometimes he wasn't voting for his own interests. He voted for the gas tax. I'm sure a lot of people in his district didn't like that, but he did it anyway, because it was the right thing to do. I like that." Miriam Wimberly, 73, said she voted for Terry McAuliffe. She was in and out in 5 minutes she was so sure. "He...

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where's the Buzz?

Nov. 4, 2008, this is not. Just one campaign volunteer stood at a Fairfax City polling place off University Avenue this morning. She was a recent high school grad who was working for Mike Signer, one of the two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. She was prepared: She had her glossies all at the ready, ready to draw in case a curious voter came a-knockin', looking for info on the L.G. race. "It's been like this all morning," she said....

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

In Arlington, A Portrait of Indecision

Althea Brum fumbled in her purse looking for her voter registration card around 9 a.m. outside the Drew Community Center in Arlington. She sighed, less because she couldn't find anything in the jumble of her purse and more because after all the mail, the phone calls and even the home visits, she still had no idea who she would vote for when she walked through the door. "I just don't feel comfortable with any one candidate," she said. "Not 100 percent. Not even 75 percent." Concerns about the economy were uppermost in her mind, she said, along with same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Brum, a 50-year-old African American insurance agent, votes in the heavily African American precinct that encompasses the Nauck community, a historic black neighborhood. All thee candidates for governor heavily courted voters like Brum, campaigning agressively here as well as in Richmond and Hampton Roads, seeking to build...

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 9:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Thunder, Lightning and Voting in Deeds Country

Rain and lightning of almost biblical proportions moved over the mountain ridges around the tiny Bath County town of Millboro as polls opened at 6 a.m. That did not deter Pam and Mark Pace from casting the first two ballots at the precinct in the Millboro Ruritan Club, where state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds votes. Both said they voted for Bath County's favorite son in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Like others here who voted early, they said they know Deeds from personal experience -- it's a place where almost everyone's life is intertwined with everybody else's, and poll workers greet voters by name. "I think he's a man of principle -- that we know," said Pam Pace, who was first to step up to one of the two electronic voting machines set up in the Ruritan Club's kitchen....

By Washington Post editors | June 9, 2009; 9:50 AM ET | Comments (3)

Election Day Forecast Still Sticky Then Stormy

The Capital Weather Gang expects a humid morning followed by afternoon and evening thunderstorms across the state tomorrow, with the storms being more intense in the Eastern portions of the state, including the D.C. region. Bottom line: Vote early or risk voting soggy....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 9, 2009; 4:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

An Election-Eve Letter on Guns

Just hours before the polls are due to open in this year's Democratic primary for governor, two young men touched by the Virginia Tech tragedy have sent out an open letter opposing Creigh Deeds because of his position on guns. Colin Goddard, a victim who survived the mass shootings in April 2007 (and was in the room when shooter Seung Hui Cho killed himself), and Omar Samaha, whose sister, Reema, was killed, issued the somber letter just after 5:30 p.m. They noted that Deeds voted against closing the gun show loophole before voting for it, and has supported allowing concealed weapons in bars. "Senator Deeds has a record on guns that worries us," they wrote. "Senator Deeds opposes our one-gun-a-month law -- and even Bob McDonnell supported that." "We believe Senator Deeds is a good person. And on many issues, we agree with him. But keeping the people we love...

By Amy Gardner | June 9, 2009; 3:55 AM ET | Comments (7)

Brian Moran, Knute Rockne, And Remembering The Titans

Candidates get punchy in a campaign's final hours. Late Sunday night -- two years after Brian Moran launched his campaign in earnest, more than a year after he began spending his Sundays in Baptist churches meeting voters, and 12 hours after making his final appeal in the pews of north Richmond -- he stood before volunteers in an Arlington strip mall and set about rallying his team. "There are differences between the candidates. I've been lumped in with these three white guys for too long. We might look the same, but there are differences," Moran said, his voice breaking and then recovering for a few flashes from his stump speech. He looked out at the rapt volunteers staring back at him. It was after 8:30 p.m. "You all should be on the phones, but I'm talking to you," he said. And then he went on....

By Michael Laris | June 8, 2009; 11:34 PM ET | Comments (1)

Family Time for McDonnell

So where was Bob McDonnell today while his three Democrats rivals campaigned hard in the last full day before tomorrow's primary? Spending some quality time with his family. The Republican nominee's in-laws, Frank and Gerry Gardner, introduced him to the residents at the vast Greenspring Retirement Community, where they live. Greenspring, home to 2,000 residents, is a frequent stop for statewide candidates looking to meet some Virginians who are regular voters....

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Moran Travels Home to Alexandria

Brian Moran of Alexandria chose to spend the final day before the election in his hometown, rallying about 250 supporters over the lunch hour in front of Alexandria City Hall in Old Town. Glistening under a blazing sun, Moran stuck with the left-leaning message he has trumpeted for much of the campaign: promises to expand access to medical and dental care, push a transportation plan through the legislature, block off-shore drilling and repeal a constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage. "All along 've been talking to voters about just how important this election is," Moran boomed to the crowd, flanked by more than a dozen local elected officials who support him. "We made history electing Barack Obama in the fall, but we need a partner for President Obama in the governor's office, and I intend to be that governor."...

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 5:09 PM ET | Comments (4)

Deeds Sweeps Through the South

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds wrapped up a 16-stop, three-day blitz. He made five stops today in Danville, Martinsville, Bristol and Roanoke and will host a 9 p.m. rally in Charlottesville. Along the way he collected an endorsement from the head of Martinsville's Democratic Committee. State Sen. Donald McEachin, a member of the legislative black caucus, also announced he is supporting Deeds. Meanwhile, the campaign was working to drive voters to the polls. Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey said six offices and some 200 volunteers across the state were making calls and sending people into neighborhoods to knock on doors. The campaign also was targeting potential voters with robocalls and nearly matching McAuliffe dollar-for-dollar on television ads. Abbey said the campaign was spending about $950,000 compared with McAuliffe's $1 million....

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 5:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

McAuliffe Rallies Supports

Democratic gubernatorial Terry McAuliffe appeared in front of 100 enthusiastic supporters wearing bright blue "McAuliffe for governor" stickers at a coffee shop near Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. McAuliffe signs snaked around the coffee shop and up and around the adjacent streets. He bounded up the makeshift stage, wearing a suit jacket on one of the hotter days this summer, after he was introduced as the next governor of commonwealth of Virginia. "Tomorrow's the big day!'' McAuliffe said to a crowd waving blue McAuliffe for governor signs. "This has been what you are working on for months!" McAuliffe, who was losing his voice, rattled off his campaign's get-out-the vote-effort: Six thousand volunteers are projected to make 1 million phone calls and knocked on 8,500 doors in the state....

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 4:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jim Moran: "I'm Concerned"

With some last-minute polls suggesting that Brian Moran might be neck-and-neck or even lagging behind Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds on Moran's home turf in Northern Virginia, his big brother, Rep. Jim Moran, acknowledged being "concerned." "Of course, I am," Jim Moran said while leaving a Fairfax County forum with local officals and other members of the Virginia congressional delegation on housing. "I think the (Washington) Post endorsement is helping Creigh a great deal in Northern Virginia, which is where he had hoped to win it," Jim Moran said. "We figured if we could get two thirds of the vote in Northern Virginia and we get a good turnout, a good GOTV effort, we can win this, because Brian does have good support in Hampton Roads and in the Richmond area." "But the Post endorsement has made a difference, and of course Terry has the resources to make an impressive...

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dialing Brian Moran

When Brian Moran gave out his private cell phone during a television interview last week, folks from his opponents' campaigns chortled. But someone out there was listening. Moran said he got about a dozen hang-ups in the few days following the interview, probably from people "who wanted to know if the number was real." But then this morning, on the road between an appearance on MSNBC and a pre-Election Day rally in Alexandria, his phone rang again. And he picked it up. It was a woman whose grandchildren had been taken from her daughter's home by child welfare officials, and who wanted help getting the children back to her home. "She said we ignore grandparents' rights in Virginia," Moran said. "I told her to send me the information and I will look into it."...

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 8, 2009; 2:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

'There's A Reason I'm Not In Politics'

The disconnect between the political class and avid voters on the one hand, and many average Virginians on the other, became even clearer around the Commonwealth today as the three men running for governor made their final appeals. Just after noon in front of Alexandria's city hall, a 30-year-old Arlington IT worker named Anil Karthkia happened across a crowd of more then 250 people sweating in blazing sun as Brian Moran prepared for his final hometown rally and speech exhorting supporters to show up at the polls Tuesday. Karthkia was there to tour Alexandria's Waterfront and missed most of the warm-up acts. He would have heard local legislators telling the crowd that Moran is the best general-election candidate to help Democrats take Virginia's House of Delegates in November. "I'm very selfish. I'm thinking about who's the best person...to help me get reelected and to get my colleagues reelected, " said...

By Michael Laris | June 8, 2009; 2:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Puller Endorses Deeds

One of Northern Virginia's last remaining neutral voices has decided to make an endorsement in the waning hours before polls open tomorrow: State Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D-Fairfax), who said late last week that all three campaigns had called in recent days to ask for her support, has decided to endorse fellow Sen. Creigh Deeds. Puller noted that she and Deeds were elected to the House of Delegates on the same day and have been deskmates in both the House and Senate chambers. She said she believed Deeds' rural roots would help him beat Repulican Bob McDonnell in the fall. "I also admire Brian Moran, but I think Creigh is the one who now has the momentum," she said. "I think he has a good chance to win the primary--and I think he's our best hope to beat Bob McDonnell in the fall" She said she believes Deeds' has...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 8, 2009; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (1)

Predictions of Low Turnout Continue

Here's more grist for the churning discussions about likely turnout for tomorrow's primary election. Fairfax County Elections Registrar Rokey W. Suleman II is officially predicting it'll be low in his neck of the woods. Suleman said that as of Saturday night, voters had mailed 1,679 absentee ballots, of which, 759 had been returned to the office. An additional 754 Fairfax residents had voted early in person as of Saturday night, an option available since May 18....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 8, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

Election Day Forecast: Muggy, Afternoon Storms

The Capital Weather Gang reports that Tuesday isn't looking amenable to high turnout at the polls, particularly for those voters who wait until late in the day. The day is expected to be warm and humid with sporadically intense thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. See the full forecast at the Capital Weather Gang blog, and watch for updates Monday and Tuesday....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 8, 2009; 9:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Top 10 House Fundraisers

If you're trying to figure out which House of Delegates races will be the most competitive in Tuesday's primary, and later this fall, just follow the money. Below find the 10 candidates that raised the most money in the two-month period that ended May 27, as compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in Virginia politics. You'll notice that seven out of the 10 are Democratic candidates. Is that a sign that the Democrats have more strength heading into fall elections? Maybe not. Of the 12 primaries on Tuesday, nine are among Democrats, including four in Northern Virginia, so they have to have money right away.. Democrats are working hard to regain control of the 100-member House, which has been in Republican hands since 1999. They have won 11 seats since 2003 and need to win six more to win the majority....

By Anita Kumar | June 8, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Reasons They Stayed Late

The candidate had just cleared out, but Charley Conrad kept going. It was past 9:30 on a Sunday night in a gutted Hollywood Video store and Conrad was hunting for a few final precinct volunteers with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fred Flintstone eyeing him from ripped-up walls. A blue bucket sat on the floor to catch drips, and 51 brown paper bags were lined up, filed with Brian Moran signs and cheap cheddar crackers to keep poll workers moving Tuesday. Conrad heads a gay rights group, the Virginia Partisans, and met Moran when the former state delegate was recruiting candidates in Republican territory in Virginia Beach as Democratic caucus chairman. Moran fought against a constitutional amendment in 2006 banning gay marriage "Moran was out there on the firing line. He was standing up for us, and nobody really asked him to. He just saw how innately bad this was," Conrad said....

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 11:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

'You Don't Hear People Talking About It'

To understand what the words "Democratic stronghold" can mean, stop by Arlington's precinct 30. President Obama took 87.72 percent of the vote here in November, the best showing in the bluest county in Northern Virginia. It is places like this that the Democrat who wins on Tuesday will count on for support in November. But what are people thinking about the primary? For many, the answer on a beautiful Sunday evening as children dash through water fountains at Drew park, is: Not much of anything. "The governor's race, you don't hear a lot of talk about it," said former postal worker Jacqui Jackson, 43. "For the presidency, people were talking everywhere, just making conversation. It's kind of amazing. You don't hear people talking about it."...

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 7:53 PM ET | Comments (4)

Deeds Campaigns in Hampton Roads

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds visited two African-American churches in the Tidewater area, meeting and greeting people but not giving formal remarks from a pulpit. At the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Newport News, Deeds sat with his wife, Pam, as a member of the church gave a foot-stomping bluesy rendition of "Amazing Grace." Overhead was a mural of a white hand clasping a black hand and the words, "Each One, Reach One," What the crowd lacked in size--there were perhaps 100 people--they made up for in spirit. "We're trying to reach everybody," Deeds in an interview afterwards at another stop in Portsmouth. But Deeds also acknowledged that the potential impact of the black vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary is "huge." "That's where Terry's entire emphasis is," Deeds said. "So we'll see."...

By Anita Kumar | June 7, 2009; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Felons' Rights

It might seem like an odd rallying cry in a state that often takes a hard line on law-and-order matters. But today Democrats hammered at the issue to an enthusiastic response from the party's base. When Terry McAuliffe this morning called for restoring voting rights for released felons in a stump speech from a church pulpit, parishioners rewarded him with a standing ovation, my colleague Freddy Kunkle reports. It was a big applause line for Brian Moran at a church stop today as well. Mike Signer, an Arlington lawyer running against Jody Wagner in the lieutenant governor's race, has made the issue one of the pillars of his statewide campaign. Nearly all states but Virginia allow felons to vote after their debt to society has been paid, Signer said, and not doing so has kept large numbers of African American men from becoming full citizens of the Commonwealth again....

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 4:28 PM ET | Comments (2)

McAuliffe Visits Churches

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was ushered to the front row of the Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church in Norfolk as its pastor, the Rev. Kirk T. Houston, Jr., belted out a rocking gospel number with backing from the choir. Then he introduced a young seminarian who was about to collect his degree from nearby Regent University--the university attended by GOP candidate Bob McDonnell. Called to the pulpit next, McAuliffe gave a hoarse but rousing stump speech, bringing many in the congregation of approximately 300 people to their feet when he promised to work for the automatic restoration of voting rights to convicted felons. "I want to make it crystal clear - I want to help people," McAuliffe said....

By Anita Kumar | June 7, 2009; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Home Stretch

They're racing from Baptist churches to a motel, country club, and sports bar. On their last weekend day to rally voters, it's all locomotion and geographic bobbing and weaving for the three Democratic candidates for governor. Here's some of where they have been and where they're going: Creigh Deeds attended services at Zion Baptist Church in Hampton before heading to Roger Brown's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Portsmouth. He's scheduled to meet voters at Giuseppe's Pizza in Petersburg this afternoon and a supporter's home in Richmond tonight....

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 3:13 PM ET | Comments (7)

Scott: Yes, I Voted for Terry McAuliffe

There's been a lot of talk in recent days about whether U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott has actually endorsed Terry McAuliffe, since he's featured prominently in a McAuliffe mailer. Here's an answer, straight from the congressman's lips: "I haven't made a formal endorsement, but I voted on Saturday," he said in an interview. "Yes, I voted for Terry McAuliffe." Scott said he was attracted to McAuliffe's promise to create new jobs, his interest in energy policy and his plans to bolster early childhood education. "He's run a very aggressive race," Scott said. "The fact that he's doing as well as he's doing is a testament to the strength of his campaign."...

By Rosalind Helderman | June 7, 2009; 2:09 PM ET | Comments (1)

Moran Woos Black Voters

Democratical gubernatorial hopeful Brian Moran began his day at a small Baptist church in the Highland Park neighborhood on the north side of Richmond -- the same place his rival, R. Creigh Deeds, appeared two months ago. Only about 50 people attended the 8 a.m. service at Fifth Street Baptist Church, where the windows were adorned with stained glass and a yellow banner read "Bringing the Kingdom to the Community." Evelyn Morris-Harris, chairwoman of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia, invited Moran to her church of six years and introduced him to the congregation. "He's a family orientated man,'' she told them. "And we look for that. We need that. We need someone who understands what family is all about."...

By Anita Kumar | June 7, 2009; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (3)

Where In The World Was Terry McAuliffe?

Porting snazzy technology to the campaign grind can net unexpected results. Take, for instance, Terry McAuliffe's campaign stop off the coast of Ghana. All he was trying to do was let everyone know about his town hall with chemical company workers outside Richmond. But he put himself in the hands of UberTwitter, software for mobile blogging from his Blackberry. "Great townhall meeting with employees at ChemTreat. Got lots of questions about my jobs plan," he Tweeted Thursday, linking to his location and an image of himself in a blue shirt surrounded by eager listeners. But the automatically generated Google map, fed by cell tower information ("No GPS hardware required," says UberTwitter), put his smiling mug in the sea off the Ghanaian capital of Accra. "Dunno what's up with twitter. First it says I'm in Bethesda, now I'm off the coast of Africa. We've been in VA all day," McAuliffe Tweeted...

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (2)

Ground Games: Who Has the Edge?

Two hundred thousand. That's the astounding number of phone calls Terry McAuliffe's campaign says volunteers made on his behalf yesterday, as we reach the final hours before polls open for the Democratic primary Tuesday. For weeks, McAuliffe strategists have insisted they were building a massive get-out-the- vote network they would activate in the final days before the election. Now, they say it's up and running. And, despite tightening in the polls, they have remained confident their ability to reach out and touch potential voters, including those who voted for president last year but don't typically take part in local elections, is far beyond anything Brian Moran or Creigh Deeds can muster....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 7, 2009; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (10)

Dampening Turnout

After millions of dollars spent, thousands of miles traveled, and much talk of chicken waste, coal-fired power plants, and pre-K, it looks like we may be headed for rain Tuesday. Our all-season colleagues over at the Capital Weather Gang have ginned up this forecast: "Showers and thunderstorms are likely both Tuesday and Wednesday (60% chance), especially in the afternoon and evening. High temperatures both days will be in the 80s with lows in the 60s," writes Chief Meteorologist Jason Samenow. The National Weather Service mirrors that outlook for Roanoke. Norfolk may be better off, with just a 30 percent chance of showers. But could the diehards courted by the campaigns using sophisticated databases and months of phone calls really be thrown off by a little rain?...

By Michael Laris | June 7, 2009; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds Fights Back

Here's how we can tell we're in the midst of the final days of a hard-fought race: The attacks are coming fast and furious. It's hard to even keep up. Each of the three Democrats running for governor -- Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran -- are accusing each other of unfair attacks daily. Forget daily. Try every few hours. Most of the attacks have been aimed at Deeds, who recent polls show surging ahead of his rivals, and his lengthy record of support for gun rights. McAuliffe sent out a mailer that poses the question: "Which of the Democratic candidates supports concealed weapons in bars?" And Moran has been hammering Deeds in his own campaign mailer as well as in radio interviews. Now, Deeds is fighting back....

By Anita Kumar | June 6, 2009; 11:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

What's a Good Democrat To Do?

The offerings - make that demands - on the last weekend day before Tuesday's vote are bountiful. President Obama would like to request your presence at one of Sunday's meetings to kickoff a push for health care reform. Organizing for America, the volunteer group that stemmed from the president's campaign, is calling for gatherings across the country. But wait. Three smiling but increasingly frenzied would-be governors could also really use a final boost from energetic phone bankers and door knockers. And show up at the offices of one of the unheralded down-ballot candidates (Your future lieutenant governor wants YOU!) and you might make a friend for life. Strategists in Virginia are trying to gauge the ratio of fatigue to continued excitement among Democrats after Obama's success in November. Turnout will drive the outcome in Tuesday's primary--and the race against Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall. In liberal power centers in...

By Michael Laris | June 6, 2009; 6:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

Clinton Lends A Hand Once More

Bill Clinton, who has helped out his pal Terry McAuliffe throughout his race for governor, is at it again. In the final frenzied days of campaigning before Tuesday's primary, the former president has recorded a phone call for McAuliffe asking Virginians to get out and vote. "As your governor, Terry McAuliffe will fight harder than anyone to improve the economy and create jobs,'' Clinton says. Listen to the call here (MP3). Clinton is making at least one more appearance in Virginia today to help out McAuliffe. He will be at McAuliffe's McLean home for a barbecue....

By Anita Kumar | June 6, 2009; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pricey Showdown Over Fairfax House Seat

A mad fundraising dash in Fairfax is set to test the political axiom Tuesday that the candidate with the most money usually wins. Mark Keam, a former top aide to Illinois Senator Richard Durbin (D), and Esam Omeish, chief of surgery at Inova Alexandria Hospital, have been on money raising tear. Vienna attorney Roy Baldwin has also put in a strong showing, while former Fairfax prosecutor John Carroll has lagged in the money race. The four are vying for the Democratic nomination in Fairfax's 35th House of Delegates district, which includes Tysons Corner and Oakton. In the most recent reporting period, Keam and Omeish were two of the top-ten fundraisers in House races across the Commonwealth, according to a Washington Post analysis of data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. Between April 1 and May 27, Omeish raised $75,800 and Keam took in $61,800. Omeish had $33,500 on hand...

By Michael Laris | June 6, 2009; 1:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Last Minute Donations Pour In

So this might help explain the number of Creigh Deeds ads those of us who live in the expensive Washington media market have been seeing in the last day or so. Deeds' campaign has taken in more than $276,000 in new donations since May 27, the cut-off deadline for inclusion in his last big June 1 fundraising report, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. That figure is dwarfed by the more than $500,000 Terry McAuliffe has raised in the same time period -- we've been seeing his ads too -- but we always knew McAuliffe would bring in more money than both his rivals. Deeds success here at the end -- he reported bringing in almost $115,000 of that figure on June 3 and 4 alone -- has buoyed the signs of life his campaign has been showing in its final days....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 6, 2009; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

What Do Huckabee and Schweitzer Have in Common?

A couple months ago, Terry McAuliffe blasted Bob McDonnell for keeping quiet while his surrogate Mike Huckabee encouraged Virginia Republicans to keep voters from the polls on Election Day. Well, today, McAuliffe's surrogate, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer sounded like he was trying to suppress a few votes himself when he said -- jokingly? -- that supporters of McAuliffe rivals, Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, should show up at the polls on Thursday, instead of Tuesday. "The other two guys are good guys," Schweitzer said at an Arlington stop with McAuliffe this morning. "They're in the legislature. No one's campaigning against anyone. And if you decide you're going to vote for one of the other guys, show up on Thursday." No, it wasn't a slip of the tongue....

By Anita Kumar | June 5, 2009; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (4)

McAuliffe Picks Up Congressman's Support

So it looks like, at long last and after weeks of close ties and kind words, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott has essentially endorsed Terry McAuliffe. We haven't yet heard him use the "e" word, but a McAuliffe mailer that hit yesterday features a photo of the two of them and quotes praising McAuliffe as representing "hope for Virginia." McAuliffe is far too careful a politician to send out a mailer like that without Scott's approval. Scott's nod could be a key bit of support in his Hampton Roads district, helping to bring out black voters who could be critical to a possible McAuliffe victory. McAuliffe has also received the endorsements of the state's black newspapers. You can read the mailer here....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 5, 2009; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (4)

The Repsonse to Schweitzer

As we all now know gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe was endorsed this morning by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who also happens to be chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. So what's been the response from his rivals? Democrat Creigh Deeds tweeted about it this morning: "well I guess terry has a leg up in the montana precincts." Brian Moran's campaign manager Andrew Roos said: "The guy who was rumored to be running for governor of New York, and wanted to be governor of Florida is having the governor of Montana tell us why he should be governor of Virginia?''...

By Anita Kumar | June 5, 2009; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (6)

Schweitzer, Rendell and the Endorsement Hierarchy

Cross-posted from The Fix: Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will receive two prominent endorsements of his Virginia gubernatorial candidacy today from Democratic Governors Association Chairman Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. Schweitzer will travel the state with McAuliffe while Rendell, a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will cut a video in support of the former DNC Chair. The decision by two out-of-state elected officials to wade into a contested three-way primary -- state Sen. Creigh Deeds and former state Del. Brian Moran are also running -- just days before the June 9 votes begs one basic question: Will either endorsement have any impact on the outcome on Tuesday?...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 5, 2009; 9:22 AM ET | Comments (2)

Moran Mailer Targets Deeds

We're not sure what to make of the recent polls that seem to show some kind of movement by Creigh Deeds in the governor's race. As our polling director Jon Cohen has explained, we think some of them are unreliable. And we think polling is exceptionally difficult in a three-way primary in which turnout is expected to be low. But, for what it's worth, we can add this bit of evidence to a growing picture of possible momentum: The other campaigns seems to be a bit anxious of the guy from Bath. After weeks of taking on Terry McAuliffe in mailings, radio and tv ads, trying to suggest his record as a businessman is not what he has claimed, Brian Moran has a new target in a flier hitting mailboxes today: Deeds....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 4, 2009; 6:03 PM ET | Comments (5)

Democratic Governors Association Head Picks McAuliffe

Post political blogger Chris Cillizza, aka The Fix, reports a big endorsement for Terry McAuliffe today: "Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, will endorse former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe's (Va.) gubernatorial primary bid tomorrow in northern Virginia, according to sources familiar with the move. "Schweitzer will throw his support to McAulliffe tomorrow morning in Arlington and then the two will travel together to events in Richmond and Charlottesville. The endorsement comes just three days before Virginia Democrats head to the polls to choose between McAuliffe, state Sen. Creigh Deeds and former state Del. Brian Moran as their party's nominee for governor. Former state attorney general Bob McDonnell is the GOP nominee. "Schweitzer's endorsement is in his capacity as governor of Montana not as chairman of the DGA, according to knowledgeable sources, but the practical effect is the same. "Neither Schweitzer nor the McAuliffe...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 4, 2009; 5:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Wilder Endorses...

Former governor L. Douglas Wilder finally endorses in Tuesday's Democratic primary. No, not for governor. Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, endorsed Fairfax County Del. Bob Hull, who is in a surprisingly tough Democratic primary race against Fairfax School Board memeber Kaye Kory. He recorded robocalls for the man he calls his friend. Wilder was governor when Hull was first elected to the General Assembly in 1992. "You could have no better person representing your interests in Richmond than Bob Hull," Wilder says in the call....

By Anita Kumar | June 4, 2009; 4:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Updated: Moran Scores an Unusual Endorsement

The folks at OpenCarry.org, a gun rights group, have done something we never would have expected: They endorsed Brian Moran in the Democratic primary for governor. Moran, a former delegate from Alexandria who has a lengthy record of gun control votes, had no idea he was getting the endorsement -- or even why. As you might imagine, an endorsement from a gun rights group is not exactly what a candidate is looking for in a Democratic primary -- especially one who is trying to appeal to the most liberal voters. So why did OpenCarry.org pick Moran, especially over state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who is well known for his gun rights votes and his NRA endorsement in 2005? The group's Mike Stollenwerk says they don't trust Deeds anymore because he has changed his views on gun issues over the last couple years....

By Anita Kumar | June 4, 2009; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (20)

Suffolk University Poll: Most Voters Still Uncertain

UPDATE: Another poll out today, this one from Research 2000 for the liberal blog Daily Kos, also finds the race near even with a large number of undecideds -- Deeds at 30 percent, Moran at 27 and McAuliffe at 26 with 17 percent undecided -- but adds one thing the Suffolk poll does not have: trend. In late May, the same poll found a vastly different race, with McAuliffe at 36 percent, Moran at 22 and Deeds lagging behind at 13 percent, suggesting the tides are moving in Deeds's direction across the state (he's climbed 16 points in Northern Virginia, 18 points in the rest of the state) as Election Day closes in. Original Post: With Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary just a few days away, a new poll from Suffolk University confirms one thing we know for sure about this race: there are a lot of undecided voters. The new...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | June 4, 2009; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (3)

Another Big Name in the 47th House District

The endorsements in Arlington's 47th House District, where five men are vying in Tuesday's Democratic primary to replace Del. Al Eisenberg, keep rollin' in. Today, retired U.S. Army general Wesley Clark endorsed Adam Parkhomenko. We're not sure how Clark, a presidential contender in 2004, feels about widening Interstate 66, preserving affordable housing along Route 50 or fostering transit-oriented development around North Arlington's Orange Line Metro stations. But we do know that Parkhomenko, a 23-year-old former campaign staffer last year to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has put his national political connections to work. Parkhomenko also nabbed the endorsement of former president Bill Clinton, who has placed robocalls into the district on Parkhomenko's behalf....

By Amy Gardner | June 4, 2009; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Live Blog: WJLA/Politico Special

Good evening! We're sitting down to watch tonight's WJLA/Politico news special on the governor's race. We're betting many of our readers are doing the same. So join us as we share thoughts and observations live during the special. This is not airing live and it's not a debate, so there's unlikely to be a lot of unpredictable going on and there will be no back and forth between the candidates. Still, this is an uninterrupted hour on prime time television. So it's certainly worth a watch. We'll get going momentarily....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 3, 2009; 7:54 PM ET | Comments (2)

Mr. Kaine Goes to Washington

Gov. Tim Kaine talked high-speed rail today with Mr. Amtrak himself, Vice President Joe Biden. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was one of a handful of governors at the White House today to chat with Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The roundtable was billed as a unique opportunity for state leaders to share their ideas with the Obama administration about the future of high-speed trains in America. "Everyone knows I'm a big believer in our nation's rail system -- I've devoted a big part of my career doing what I can to support it -- and I'm proud that this administration is about to transform that system fundamentally," Biden said in a statement....

By Anita Kumar | June 3, 2009; 5:51 PM ET | Comments (3)

McAuliffe Consoles, Campaigns at GM Plant

From the annals of smart campaigning... Terry McAuliffe made a stop this afternoon at the GM plant in Fredericksburg that the company announced Monday it is shuttering as part of its bankruptcy filing. Not a bad move for the candidate who has made job creation the centerpiece of his run for the governor's mansion. McAuliffe took a tour of the plant, which is scheduled to close in 2010, as a guest of local UAW leaders and Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors Chairman Henry "Hap" Connors Jr, whose endorsed his campaign....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 3, 2009; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds Airs Ads in NoVa

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds will begin airing ads tonight on broadcast and cable TV in the pricey Northern Virginia market, and will continue them through the Tuesday primary. The 30-second ad, Tradition, touts Deeds' recent endorsement from the Washington Post and claims that he is the "most prepared Democrat to build on the Warner-Kaine legacy." Deeds' latest TV buy means the state senator from Bath County will be on TV in every media market in the state in the five days leading to the primary. Rival Terry McAuliffe began airing ads in Northern Virginia this week....

By Anita Kumar | June 3, 2009; 2:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Deeds' Momentum?

Is Deeds surging? Six days before the Democratic primary for governor, that's certainly what state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds wants us to think. His campaign has been quietly -- and not so quietly -- letting everyone who will listen know he is moving ahead in recent polls and could go down as one of the greatest come-from-behind success stories in recent state history. (Okay, well since Jim Webb, anyway). "This huge surge for Creigh happened because of you,'' Deeds' campaign manager Joe Abbey wrote in a letter to supporters this week. "Now that we are in the lead, we can expect our opponents to come out swinging."...

By Anita Kumar | June 3, 2009; 11:43 AM ET | Comments (7)

GOP Ballot Breakdown

Three days after the state Republican convention, we finally have gotten our hands on the vote totals of the more than 10,000 delegates Saturday. In the closest race, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II of Fairfax garnered 57 percent of the vote to become his party's nominee for attorney general. He defeated former federal prosecutor John Brownlee, who received 37 percent, and David M. Foster, former chairman of the Arlington County School Board, who received six percent. Cuccinelli, who will face Del. Stephen C. Shannon (D-Fairfax) in November, won with surprising ease. The hard-fought attorney general contest was widely expected to go to a second, maybe third, ballot but Cuccinelli secured the 50 percent he needed to win on the first try....

By Anita Kumar | June 2, 2009; 6:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

New Ads for McAuliffe, Moran

Another day, another new ad. Actually today, two new ads. Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran release new TV ads today. McAuliffe's ad uses one of his better lines from the debates (President Kennedy didn't say we're going halfway to the moon - he said we're going all the way!) while Moran takes a swipe at Republican nominee Bob McDonnell....

By Anita Kumar | June 2, 2009; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (4)

Updated: More About Money

We told you yesterday that Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe has raised more cash than his rivals, R. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, heading into the final week of the primary. Today, we are providing you with some of the interesting tidbits about their donations, according to campaign filings made public last night. Check back often because we will be updating this post as we discover new fun facts. Both Deeds and Moran received money from Dominion Virginia Power's political action committee. Deeds' $5,000 came the day after he criticized McAuliffe about his pledge to refuse campaign contributions from one of the most influential companies in the state. Moran's $10,000 came after he stated in interviews that he had taken less money his opponents....

By Anita Kumar | June 2, 2009; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Steps into 47th House District Race

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) has weighed in on the five-way primary battle to replace Al Eisenberg in Arlington's 47th House District, endorsing Alan Howze, who was Warner's policy director in the governor's office. Already hard to predict by virtue of the size of the field, the race has been complicated by the divided allegiances of big-name Democrats. First, former president Bill Clinton recorded a robo-call for Adam Parkhomenko, the 23-year-old former staffer for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Then, after rumblings from irritated Arlington Democrats that Clinton had butted into a local race, Del. Bob Brink and state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple endorsed Patrick Hope, a civic activist and adjunct professor of health at Johns Hopkins University. Arlington board member Chris Zimmerman, meanwhile, supports Andres Tobar, a veteran of the U.S. Department of Education who directs a day-labor center. And a number of Virginia's liberal blogs have thrown their...

By Amy Gardner | June 2, 2009; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (10)

Updated: The Money Game

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe raised $1.8 million in the two-month period ending last week. He has nearly $1.3 million cash on hand as he heads into the last week before next Tuesday's primary. Brian Moran raised $844,000 in the same period and has $700,000 in the bank. Creigh Deeds, raised $676,326 and has $521,135 in the bank.  Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell raised $3.7-million. He goes into the general election with $4.9 millon cash on hand. Today is the deadline for candidates to report to the state how much money they raised in the two-month period ending last week. For Democrats, it will give us a good idea of how much money they have to spend on TV ads and-get-out-the-vote efforts as they head into the final week before next Tuesday's primary. For Republicans, it will tell us how much money they have going into the general election. We...

By Anita Kumar | June 1, 2009; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

The Party of No

For months, Democrats have been painting the GOP as "the party of no." Well, Republicans tried to turn the tables on their Democratic critics today with a whirlwind "Just Say Yes" tour of the state. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli -- who on Saturday won the GOP nomination for Attorney General -- touched down at Dulles International for a brief rally as part of the tour. In a private hangar at the airport, McDonnell rattled off a litany of policy positions ranging from education to energy, and led supporters in a chorus of, "Just say yes!" "This is the positive, can-do, results-oriented, friendly, enthusiastic, conservative ticket that's going to support right to work and the rule of law, all the way to victory on Nov. 3," said McDonnell. "And we're going to be the party of yes to the reforms that we need." UPDATE: The Democratic Party of...

By Sandhya Somashekhar | June 1, 2009; 4:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

Final Countdown Begins

The home stretch, the final spring, the last gasp. Welcome to it folks. We're now eight days from primary Election Day, with Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran making their final arguments that they deserve the Democratic nomination for governor....

By Rosalind Helderman | June 1, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

 

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