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'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 help me get reelected and to get my colleagues reelected, " said Fairfax County Del. Chuck Caputo. Caputo made a case for Moran the governor, but emphasized the case for Moran the campaigner. Flipping the House is the key to progress, Alexandria state Sen. Patsy Ticer added. "We in the Senate can't get a darn thing done until we do," Ticer said.


Once Moran took the stage to the blaring sounds of "Born to Run," he made his case and Karthkia tried to take it all in.

Moran hit his notes: civil rights, the environment, protecting and insuring children, improving transportation.

"I know you won't welcome me back to Northern Virginia unless I get a transportation deal done," Moran said.

Karthkia liked the words.

"He did say all the right things. Whether they will happen or not is a big question. Transportation's always been a big issue here," Karthkia said. He's worried time's running out to save the Chesapeake Bay. He also thinks Moran's opposition to drilling makes good environmental sense. But he's not sure. What if it adds to skyrocketing gas costs someday?

"I'm hoping he knows what he's talking about and makes the right decisions. There's a reason I'm not in politics," Karthkia said.

So just why has a seemingly thoughtful and responsible citizen not even decided whether to vote, less than 24 hours from the polls opening?

Karthkia said he's only read about Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds in passing, and thought he read something about the race being too close to call. But he's not clear on the their stands.

So why not read up sometime between now and tomorrow?

"It's a very big deal. The governor of Virginia is not a minor position. It's really important. At this late stage in the game, since I don't know enough, I probably won't vote," Karthkia said. "There's a disconnect between what people say in the campaign and what actually happens."

And between voters and politicians.

By Michael Laris  |  June 8, 2009; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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