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With Scozzafava out, McDonnell might be sharing limelight Tuesday

Rosalind Helderman

It had appeared increasingly possible that Virginia Republican Bob McDonnell could be the only GOP victory Tuesday, despite all the talk about the national mood turning the party's direction one year after President Obama's election.

That's because Republican Chris Christie is locked in a head heat with Democrat Jon Corzine in the race for New Jersey governor. And it had been because it looked like Democrats might pick up a seat in Congress in a special election in New York, where a deep split had erupted in the GOP between supporters of the party's nominee and a third party conservative.

But, no longer.


With today's exit from the race of New York State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican party candidate, it has become more likely Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman could defeat Democrat Bill Owens.

That would leave McDonnell to share the spotlight of conservative victory Tuesday, if he defeats Democrat Creigh Deeds as polls have predicted.

Still, Scozzafava's departure saves McDonnell from the awkward question of who he supported in the feud. McDonnell dodged a question Saturday morning about whether he backed his party's nominee or Hoffman.

"I haven't gotten involved in it at all. I couldn't tell you much about that race," he said, when asked who he backed in the spat. "I don't know anything about the New York race, but I'm for the Chris Christie in New Jersey. It's just not a race I've followed at all."

(Former Virginia governor and senator George Allen had no such hesitation: "I'm leaving it to the people of New York. But if I were voting, I would vote for the Conservative Party nominee. I know the folks in the Conservative Party of New York and those folks are real freedom fighters. I care about issues. And where people stand. The Conservative Party candidate is obviously most close to my philosophy.")

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 31, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

I'm surprised you didn't get Anita Kumar in on this post to work the Sarah Palin angle of the story. I mean, how could any self-respecting journalist omit Palin from a discussion of Virginia politics?

Posted by: OlMcCreedy | October 31, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Kumar is either on suicide watch, or rushing to the bank to cash her last paycheck from the Deeds campaign before it bounces..

Posted by: SMWE357 | November 1, 2009 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Now that Scozzafava has wholeheartedly endorsed her former Democratic rival, I think there's no doubt the "news" on Tuesday night will be up in New York not in Virginia.

Unless Deeds pulls off the upset of all time, and I sure hope he does, what will actually be new in Virginia at this point? Whereas in New York you've got a potential victory by a Conservative (third-party) candidate representing the Tea Party movement, a Democratic candidate supported by the person who was running against him as a Republican until the Saturday before the election, and what appears to be a mad-as-hell Republican former candidate who has been thrown under the bus and then stomped on by every Republican leader in the United States, with the exception of Bob McDonnell and Newt Gingrich.

You don't have to be partisan (either way) to see that upstate New York is where the actual news is unfolding. What a circus up there!

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | November 1, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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