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Petersen says thanks, and not exactly no thanks, to gubernatorial buzz

Rosalind Helderman

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) says he does not intend to run for governor in 2013--but he's not exactly ruling his candidacy out either.

Petersen's name has gotten some buzz on left-leaning blogs in the last couple of days. Ben Tribbett posted a nifty video on his site Tuesday suggesting a Petersen run is the only way to stop Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) from winning the governor's mansion in 2013. (That's assuming Cuccinelli runs for governor in three years, of course; the voluble attorney general maintains he plans to run for reelection.)

It turns out Tribbett and fellow blogger Lowell Feld aren't the only ones talking up Petersen as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate. A Roanoke man launched a "draft Chap" website and accompanying Facebook page some months ago.

Not so fast, Petersen said.

"Politics is entertainment, and people want to throw my name out there to be entertaining," he said. "I'm running for reelection to the Senate in 2011, and that's what I'm focused on."

But, classic question to the rumored candidate, does Petersen absolutely rule out a 2013 run?

"No, of course not. Why would I?" said Petersen, who ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in 2005, losing to Leslie Byrne.

"It's flattering to have your name thrown around like that," he said. "But you don't see me traveling the state in a caravan...I can honestly say I haven't sat down with anyone to discuss running for governor. I haven't been raising money to run for governor."

That separates Petersen from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who has already been raising campaign cash for a run at the state's top job. And it also sets him apart from 2009 Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, who's been traveling the state and meeting with local Democrats and has made no secret that he's considering another try.

Part of the swirl around Petersen arises from the fact that Democrats have no obvious candidate to succeed Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Besides former Democratic National Committee chairman McAuliffe, rumored possible statewide candidates have included House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-Henry), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), State Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond) and State Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun).

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  August 11, 2010; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Ken Cuccinelli , Leslie L. Byrne , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McDonnell helps bring National Governors Association meeting to Virginia
Next: Republicans governors group sends out video featuring McDonnell


I would not pay any attention to political proposals by Tribbett and Feld with respect to Democratric Party nominations for statewide offices.

Tribbett is still basking in the adoration of some far-left Democrats for his overrated "macaca" expose of George Allen while spending most of his blogging time trying to purge current Democratic Party office holders who decline to worship at his political consulting feet.

Feld is well-informed and well-meaning but is politically naive on practical political realities.

Posted by: TomPaine2 | August 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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