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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.

Creigh Deeds votes

"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."

Deeds said the biggest surprise of the race so far had been receiving an endorsement from this newspaper's editorial board.

"That was huge. That was probably a game-changer if there was one in this race," Deeds said. "I knew they were taking me seriously, when we were talking about issues. But I didn't expect to get that endorsement."

Hanging out in the parking lot greeting voters, Deeds said he was pleased by the size of the crowds in Martinsville, Danville, Bristol, Roanoke and Charlottesville the previous day. After working the campaign until 1:30 a.m., Deeds said he woke around 5 a.m. as violent thunderstorms rolled over the mountains.

At the last minute, Deeds decided to cancel a series of public events and get-out-the-vote rallies today in favor of some private time with his family, perhaps taking an Election Day hike -- as the current occupant of the governor's office, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, has habitually done.

"We're just doing family stuff today," Deeds said, declining to elaborate. Asked why he was not still pressing the flesh, he said he was confident that he had done everything possible to get the vote out. "It's a big state. I could be anywhere. I could be doing anything. It's just a matter of choosing where to go. And so we're doing everything we can. I'm confident."

Then he darted off to talk to a voter.

"What's the cane all about, Miss Battie?" Deeds asked as an elderly woman limped toward the polls with a cane.

His family was in a good mood too. Pam Deeds, wearing jeans, a knit shirt, and flip-flops, razzed Shrader about the wet spot on the seat of pants because he had forgotten to roll the window of his car up before the rain. When Deeds said that he anticipated a calm primary election day -- "You worry about things you can control," Deeds said -- his wife gave him a gentle bit of teasing.

"You have never had a calm day in your life," she said. "It just doesn't happen. He's just not wired that way."

-- Fredrick Kunkle

By Washington Post editors  |  June 9, 2009; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds  
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