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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Nye, Perriello to reappear at Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson dinner

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Defeated congressmen Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello will join their former collegues Reps. Gerry Connolly, Jim Moran and Bobby Scott at the Virginia Democrats' annual black-tie Jefferson-Jackson dinner later this month.

Terry McAuliffe, the 2009 gubernatorial candidate looking to make another run at the Governor's Mansion in 2013, will also be there. He's even bringing along two electric cars, which will be on display in the atrium of the Greater Richmond Convention Center Feb. 19.

Is Sen. Jim Webb coming? He's keeping his party guessing -- not uncommon for him.

Webb has yet to say whether he's attending, according to his office and Democratic party officials, just as he has yet to say if he's running for reelection.

Sen. Mark R. Warner will miss his second Jefferson-Jackson dinner in a decade. The first time was in 2006, back when he was flirting with running for president and was in New Hampshire. Warner already had a family trip scheduled when this year's date was set. He will welcome attendees with a video message.

Tim Kaine, former governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee who still lives in Richmond when he isn't on the road, has yet to confirm his attendance either.

About 1,500 activists from across the state are expected at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, the largest fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Virginia each year.

This year, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association whose national profile has been on the rise since his November reelection, will serve as the keynote speaker.

In past years, Virginia Democrats have seen the likes of then Sen. Barack Obama, then Sen. Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton as speakers.

In 2010, Democrats postponed the annual event from February until March after the annual legislative session had ended.

The postponement had allowed Democrats to avoid Republican criticism that they were breaking a state law that forbids members of the General Assembly from raising money during the regularly scheduled legislative session.

Democratic Party officials said the dinner wasn't postponed for that reason, but privately some Democratic legislators say they told party officials they didn't want to give the GOP any ammunition.

For years, the House passed bills that would ban lawmakers and statewide officials from attending fund-raising events sponsored by a political party, lobbyist or campaign contributors during the legislative session. Democrats argue that attendance at the dinner is allowed anytime -- even during session -- because they are raising money for the party, not themselves.

Brian Coy, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of the Virginia, said this year's dinner was scheduled for Feb. 19 because both O'Malley and the Richmond Convention Center were available that day.

By Anita Kumar  | February 7, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Gerald E. Connolly, Glenn Nye, James P. Moran Jr., James Webb, Mark Warner, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Terry McAuliffe, Timothy M. Kaine, Tom Perriello  
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