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Realtors Back McDonnell; Black Caucus Favors Deeds

Rosalind Helderman

Gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell held back-to-back news conferences in Richmond on Tuesday to announce endorsements, neither of them of the too terribly shocking variety.

McDonnell picked up the support of the political action committee of the Virginia Association of Realtors, the state's largest professional organization. The group represents 33,000 Realtors and, after interviewing both candidates,
backed McDonnell as more likely to promote home ownership.

The support from the right-leaning business group is not a surprise, although it was also not assured: The group also endorsed Democrat Steve Shannon on Tuesday for attorney general, along with Republican Bill Bolling for reelection as lieutenant governor.

Even less surprising was Deeds's announcement that he had received the backing of the legislative black caucus.

The Bath senator was joined by Sens. Yvonne B. Miller (D-Norfolk), L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Henry L. Marsh III (D-Richmond) and Del. Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk), who argued that their legislative colleague would do a better job than McDonnell on issues of concern to the black community, including curbing pay-day lenders, improving education and bolstering the economy.

It would have been quite a problem for Deeds if he didn't pick up this endorsement, given that it's being offered by members of his party. Still, it's not surprising that Deeds is trumpeting the caucus's backing, given that prominent black Democratic businesswoman Sheila Johnson endorsed McDonnell last month and L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia's first black governor and a Democrat to boot, remains on the sidelines.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 18, 2009; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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