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UPDATED: Fairfax Chamber Endorses McDonnell

Anita Kumar

The political arm of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce is expected to endorse Republican Bob McDonnell this morning in the Virginia governor's race.

The chamber represents more than 700 member companies and an influential voting bloc in the all-important, vote-rich region of Northern Virginia.

As we told you last week, some business groups that have supported Democrats in recent years have not warmed to Democrat Creigh Deeds this year.

Instead, many of them are supporting McDonnell who has pledged to create jobs, fix roads, keep taxes and regulation low and protect Virginia's right-to-work laws. In recent weeks, he has been endorsed by groups that represent small businesses, credit unions, Realtors and farmers.

We will provide you with more details when they become available later this morning.

Update: The annoucement came via press release at 9:30 a.m. "Mr. McDonnell earned the support of NOVABizPAC because of his overall stronger support for the Fairfax County Chamber's priorities, specifically for identifying a plan for transportation,'' NOVABizPAC Chairwoman Fran Fisher said.

In 2001, the group endorsed Democrat Mark R. Warner in the governor's race. But in 2005, it surprised many political observers by supporting Republican Jerry Kilgore over Democrat Tim Kaine.

The Fairfax chamber hosted the second gubernatorial debate between McDonnell and Deeds last week. Its PAC interviewed both candidates and met behind closed doors this week to discuss its endorsement.

In the interviews, McDonnell and Deeds were asked about transportation, economic development and tax policy.

McDonnell has proposed paying for transportation by shifting state money and relying on funding sources that don't involve tax increases, such as privatizing the state's liquor stores and adding tolls on some highways. Deeds and others have criticized McDonnell for offering a plan that would take money from public education, public safety and other core services.

McDonnell has been critical of Deeds for not having a funding plan in a state that is always on the lookout for money for roads and bridges. Deeds has pledged to come up with a statewide, long-term solution in his first year in office but has offered few details.

"Creigh's got growing support in the business community because, unlike his opponent, he's been part of the team that helped make Virginia the Best State for Business in the nation,'' said Mo Elleithee, Deeds senior adviser. "He's also got the only honest plan for transportation, as evidenced in today's Post column. If we're going to keep growing business in Virginia, we have to deal with the transportation crisis. Creigh has an honest plan to do that, unlike Bob McDonnell's shell game that just takes $5.4 billion from Virginia schools to pay for roads."

By Anita Kumar  |  September 23, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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This kinda fits because .... "Bob's 4 Jobs"

O. P. Ditch

Posted by: opditch | September 23, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

It's all about wanting something for nothing: the NEW Virginia GOP mantra. Good schools for NO money. Good roads for NO money. Good workers for NO pay. Good morals for NO moral leadership.

Dems have made Virginia the BEST GOVERNED state in the Country -- so let's back the -- Republicans! Yeah, right Fairfax Chamber of, um "commerce."

More like Chamber of "Gett'n all we can and Giv'n Nutt'n Back."

Posted by: rebeccajm | September 23, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that in 2002 when Gov. Mark Warner gutted Virginia's transportation fund by $2.8 billion to balance the rest of the state budget that was okay, but now we can't get money back from the general fund that was intended for roads to begin with? Deeds and the Post WANT new taxes for roads so they can use the rest of the budget to further grow the government. Here's the kicker -- they STILL haven't protected the transportation trust fund from such raids thanks to the likes of Deeds' so-called Republican supporters like former State Sen. John Chichester who steadfastly refused to vote in support of firewalling the trust fund.

Posted by: JTR555 | September 23, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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