Archive: Election 2008/Congress

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 11/24/2008

Perriello Wins House Seat

The State Board of Elections certified Virginia's Nov. 4 election results, which includes a win for Democrat Tom Perriello over Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., a longtime incumbent in southern Virginia.

Goode has not conceded the close race and has 10 days to ask for a recount. Calls to his spokesman were not immediately returned.

"The citizens of the fifth district have spoken, every vote has been counted and certified, and they have elected Tom Perriello to be their new representative in Washington to bring the change and economic recovery they need,'' said Jessica Barba, a Perriello spokeswoman..

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Posted at 10:27 PM ET, 11/ 4/2008

Connolly wins

We're calling the 11th Congressional District, with 75 percent of precincts reporting. As results came in, Connolly maintained his edge, holding onto 52 percent of the vote.

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Posted at 8:25 PM ET, 11/ 4/2008

Early returns in Congressional races

8:25
In the closely-watched 11th Congressional District, the race is tight.

Democrat Gerald E. Connolly (D) had 50 percent to Republican Keith S. Fimian's 47 percent, with 8 percent of precincts reporting.

Fimian, a successful business owner, lacks the name-recoginition of Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. But Fimian appears to be holding his own in early returns.

Democrats are counting on Connolly's popularity and the changing demographics of Northern Virginia, which has increasingly trended blue, to support a win.


8:15 p.m.

In Virginia's 8th District, Democrat James P. Moran had a commanding lead over low-profile newcomer Republican Mark W. Ellmore. With 10 percent of precincts reporting, the nine-term incumbent Moran held a 67 percent advantage over Ellmore's 30 percent.

7: 54 p.m.

It's very early, but Republican incumbent Frank R. Wolf appears to have a strong lead over Democrat Judith M. Feder in the 10th Congressional District. Wolf was leading with 66 percent to 33 percent. Independent Neeraj C. Nigam held 1 percent of the vote.

In the 1st Congressional district, that includes parts of Prince William and Fauquier counties, Republican Robert J. "Rob" Wittman held a convincing lead over Democrat Bill S. Day, Jr. and Libertarian Nathan D. Larson. With 8 percent of precincts reporting, Wittman had 60 percent to Day's 38 percent.

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Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 10/27/2008

Wolf Campaign Apologizes for Staffer who Struck Feder Worker

Rep. Frank R. Wolf's campaign is apologizing this morning for the actions of a congressional staffer, who apparently struck a campaign worker for opponent Judy Feder after a candidate's forum in Winchester Friday. The incident was caught on tape and posted on the blog www.raisingkaine.com last night by Feder's paid blogger, Lowell Feld.

According to both camps, the two Feder staffers, one carrying a video camera, approached Wolf and peppered him with questions. Dan Scandling, Wolf's campaign spokesman, said the two workers had been "circling" Wolf, his wife Carolyn and congressional staffer Ben Dutton, and asking aggressive questions in an attempt to provoke an angry response.


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Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 10/ 8/2008

Va Republicans Try to Boost Membership

In an effort to boost the army of Republican volunteers who make calls and knock on doors, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who are running for governor and lieutenant governor next year, challenged local parties to double their membership over several months.

The results are in: Fifty-four of the 124 cities' and counties' parties met or exceeded the goal. At least thirty-two units increased membership but fell short of the goal.

Total, the exercise added more than 3,000 new members to the party, according to the Republican Party of Virginia.

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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 10/ 7/2008

Webb Hits the Campaign Trail

Sen. Jim Webb, who is not exactly known for his love of campaigning, starting stumping today for fellow Democrats running for election next month.

This week, he is appearing at events for Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board chairman who is running for Congress; former governor Mark R. Warner, who is running for U.S. Senate; and Tom Perriello, who is running against Rep. Virgil Goode in a south central district stretching from Charlottesville to Danville.

Next week, he will campaign for Judy Feder, who is running against Rep. Frank Wolf in Northern Virginia and Glenn Nye, who is running against Rep. Thelma Drake in Hampton Roads. He will also participate in an event for Democratic senate candidates with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and make a two-day swing through Southwest Virginia for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Webb, elected in 2006, has been criticized by some constituents and party activists for his failure to interact with Democratic activists and campaign for members of his party. But he has a packed schedule this month following the Senate's adjournment Friday.

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Posted at 1:50 PM ET, 10/ 2/2008

New Spanish Radio Ads Start in Virginia

A series of new Spanish-language radio ads will begin airing in the Washington metro area to urge residents to "move forward and vote."

The New Policy Institute, an affiliate of the NDN progressive think tank and advocacy organization, has been airing in Nevada and Colorado. The Washington area ads start tomorrow.

The media campaign, Adelante, Spanish for "Moving Forward," is a public education campaign that encourages people to vote, explains the process of voting (including early and absentee voting) and targets what is projected to be a large pool of first-time Hispanic voters.

Three ads will start airing on three radio stations, which serve Northern Virgina, southern Maryland and the District. Ads will air through Nov. 3.

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Posted at 4:31 PM ET, 08/27/2008

Feder on TV

Judy Feder, the Democrat challenging Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) in the 10th District this fall, has taken to the airwaves.

It first aired last night on cable during coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

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Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 08/26/2008

Drake to Speak at Republican Convention

U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake of Virginia has been tapped to speak on the first day of the Republican National Convention next week in St. Paul, Minn.

Drake will speak on Monday, a day that will be focused on presidential candidate John McCain's service to his country. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will speak that same night.

Drake is locked in an election battle with newcomer Glenn Nye, a Democrat running in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the Virginia Beach area and part of the Eastern Shore. Drake was targeted for defeat in 2006, but she won reelection with 51 percent of the vote, despite the Democratic tide that year.

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Posted at 4:39 AM ET, 08/25/2008

Webb Will Arrive in Denver Today

DENVER -- U.S. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) will arrive in Denver later today to attend his first Democratic National Convention.

Webb's arrival will highlight one of the most significant political transformations in a generation, considering he was a self-described Republican just eight years ago.

But Webb has a packed schedule over the next 48 hours. Webb is sponsoring a breakfast for the Virginia delegation tomorrow. Later in the day, Webb will attend a luncheon sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to his aides. Webb will then do a round of national media interviews and mingle with Virginia delegates on the convention floor tomorrow evening, the same night that U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner (D) is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the convention.

Webb plans to leave Denver Wednesday morning so he can travel to Phoenix, where he will deliver the keynote address at an American Legion convention.

Despite his early departure from the convention, Webb will likely be a big hit among the delegates. Not only has he built a national reputation due to his work in the Senate, Webb has also apparently discovered that convention delegates love their breakfast.

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Posted at 9:06 AM ET, 08/22/2008

Virginia Democrats Target McCain's Wealth

The Virginia Democratic Party will try today to localize the controversy over Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) not knowing how many houses he owns by holding a press conference outside of McCain's Crystal City condominium.

Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria) and Peter Rousselot, chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Party, will speak at the event at McCain's condominium building, which the party said in a statement is "the most enviable address in Virginia."

"Englin, Rousselot and others will ask how McCain can represent middle-class families who are struggling with the rising cost of living, soaring gas prices and the foreclosure crisis," the state party said in a news release.

The effort is apparently part of a national strategy by Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill) presidential campaign to keep the pressure on McCain by localizing the house story, which sidetracked the GOP campaign yesterday. But efforts by Virginia Democrats to make the presidential contest about class holds potential risks for the party, especially in Northern Virginia, where residents are among the wealthiest in the nation. Some voters may be uneasy with Democrats' decision to take politics to McCain's front door.

Virginia Democrats' attack on McCain could also highlight the fact that the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Virginia, former governor Mark R. Warner, is worth an estimated $200 million. Warner owns two houses, including a sprawling estate in King George County. Warner's Republican opponent, James S. Gilmore III, is also worth several million dollars. Gilmore also owns two houses, but has sought to make Warner's wealth an issue in the race, including referring to him as a "limousine liberal."

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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 08/20/2008

GOP Finds Issue in Warner Speech

Virginia Republicans are stepping up their efforts to tie U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner to the national Democratic party and Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

The strategy of linking Warner to liberals in Washington has long been a part of the GOP playbook. But Warner, apparently confident of his big lead in the polls, gave the GOP new ammunition by agreeing to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention next week.

Privately, some GOP insiders have been frustrated that Warner's GOP opponent, former governor James S. Gilmore III, has appeared curiously silent as it relates to Warner's speech next week.

Unwilling to wait for Gilmore to make the attack on his own, the Virginia Republican Party is taking the lead in trying to link Warner to national Democrats.

In a lengthy memo sent out Tuesday night to GOP supporters and reporters, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the chairman of the state party, noted that National Journal ranked Obama as the most liberal senator in 2007. (Obama and some independent analysts strongly dispute that ranking).

"This means that Obama is more liberal than an avowed socialist, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont," Frederick wrote. "Yet this is the man who Mark Warner chooses to honor in the form of giving his keynote address. For years the Democrats in Virginia said they were different from their national counterparts who were on the left. ...But the convention in Denver will once and for all dispel any myth to the contrary."

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Posted at 2:43 PM ET, 08/17/2008

Templeton Gives Va GOP $80,000

The Republican Party of Virginia received a big check recently from John M Templeton Jr., who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican and conservative causes over the years.

The son of the late finance guru Sir John Templeton, John M. Templeton Jr. of Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania gave the Virginia Republican Party $80,000 on July 30, according to the State Board of Elections.

He appears to have made the largest contribution from an individual to the Virgnia Republican Party since 2000, according to information from the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics.

John M. Templeton Jr. is one of the founding members of Freedom's Watch, an organization that seeks to be the conservative version of Moveon.org. Freedom's Watch has aired millions of dollars in television ads in support of the war of Iraq. The group also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars this fall on ads targeting Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Democratic congressional candidates.

According to the New York Times, Templeton's father was one of the world's richest men when he died last month. His son, John M. Templeton Jr., the donor to the Virginia GOP and Freedom's Watch, now heads up the John Templeton Foundation. The foundation has a $1.5 billion endowment.

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Posted at 7:39 PM ET, 08/ 6/2008

Another Democrat Will Run Against Wittman

A month after the Democratic candidate dropped out of the race to challenge U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R), the party has found someone else to run in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Prince William County.

Bill Day, a mental health counselor from Warrenton who lost to Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, (R-Prince William) in 2007, will run for the seat in November.

"With Bill Day responding to the call to service, we now have a Democratic candidate who can join with Barack Obama and Mark Warner to bring change to our district, to our Commonwealth and to our country,'' said Suzette Matthews, chairwoman of the First Congressional District.

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Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 08/ 1/2008

Democrats Target More Va Congressional Races

National Democrats announced today that they will provide assistance to two more congressional races in Virginia this November. That brings the number in the state to four.

Judy Feder, who is running against Rep. Frank Wolf in Northern Virginia, and Rep. Tom Perriello, who is runninng against Virgil Goode in the southern part of the state, were placed in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program, which directs assistance to Democratic challengers across the nation.

They were chosen because they surpassed fundraising goals and showed "voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress."

"The candidates for change being named to the DCCC Red to Blue program are running solid campaigns and are committed to making things easier for middle class families in their districts," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, DCCC chairman. "With less than 100 days to make their case for change to voters in their districts, the Red to Blue program will give these candidates the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November."

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Posted at 1:13 PM ET, 07/31/2008

ACLU of Virginia Warns of Political Interference

The ACLU of Virginia sent letters today to housing authorities across the state, warning them not to prevent political campaigners from going door to door to distribute literature, talk with residents or register people to vote.

The letters, sent to administrators at all 28 housing authorities in the state, were prompted by the actions of the Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which blocked political campaigners from going door to door at its housing projects.

ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis said the First Amendment protects both the right of campaigners to go door to door in public housing projects and the right of tenants to receive information about registering to vote and political campaigns.

"Just because people live in public housing does not mean they can be cut off from political debate," Willis said. "Public housing tenants have exactly the same rights as everyone else to be involved in our democracy, and housing authority officials violate the First Amendment when they block political campaigning and registration efforts at their doorsteps."

The letter, which cites a U. S. Supreme Court case affirming the First Amendment right to canvass, says the ACLU will consider a lawsuit on behalf of canvassers or tenants if need be.

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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 07/29/2008

Kaine Enters Dispute Over Vote Fraud Allegations

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) slammed Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, this morning for saying on Monday that groups trying to register new voters are engaged in "a coordinated and widespread effort to commit voter fraud."

In an interview on WTOP radio, Kaine called Frederick's (Prince William) assertion "ridiculous."

"I think that is slandering the reputation of hardworking Virginians who care about elections and who want people to care about this process," Kaine said. "You know, I don't like to see folks doing things in the heat of a tough election to suggest they are trying to winnow down turnout and that is what I view (Frederick's) effort as."

Gerry Scimeca, a spokesman for the Virginia Republican Party, responded in an interview by rhetorically asking Kaine if he is "against people breaking the law," referring to the arrests last week of three canvassers in Hampton Roads charged with submitting false names on voter registration forms.

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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 07/24/2008

Democrats Press Fimian on Social Issues

Virginia Democrats are demanding that Keith Fimian, the Republican nominee for Congress in the 11th District, clarify his recent remarks that social issues are not a relevant to voters in Northern Virginia.

In a conference call organized by the state party, three women from Fairfax and Prince William counties called on Fimian to publicly state his views on abortion-rights, stem-cell research and contraception.

Jane Blechman of Fairfax Station, Zoe Vitter of Woodbridge and Penny Gross (D), the Mason District supervisor in Fairfax County, also sent Fimian a letter. They were responding to statements Fimian made in the Washington Examiner this week.

"As women who live in Northern Virginia and are concerned about these issues that affect our lives, we would appreciate answers," the letter stated.

Zack Condry, Fimian's campaign manager, said the candidate stands by his remarks to The Examiner.

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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 07/23/2008

Coordinating Va Democrats: No Simple Task

The Virginia Democratic Party's decision to add Jim Wilson, a longtime Republican operative, to the payroll of its coordinated campaign may be a sign that Democratic efforts this year may not be so coordinated after all.

The coordinated Democratic campaign has been established to boost U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner, congressional candidates and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), the party's presumptive nominee for president.

Although he is a Republican, Wilson supports Warner and travels the state putting up campaign signs for him.

But at Saturday's U.S. Senate debate between Warner and Republican Jim Gilmore, Wilson was seen with a sign in his truck that included Warner's name and that of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

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Posted at 4:38 PM ET, 07/22/2008

Virginia Democrats Have Cash; Republicans Have Debt

The Virginia Democratic Party continues to have a crushing advantage over the Virginia Republican Party when it comes to money that can be spent on the presidential, U.S. Senate and congressional races this year.

In campaign finance reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission, the state Democratic Party had about $729,000 in its federal account, about $120,000 less than it had a month ago.

The Republican Party of Virginia reported it has $101,000 in its federal account. But over the past month, the party has generated $91,000 in unpaid debt, according to its July FEC report.

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Posted at 6:51 PM ET, 07/17/2008

Even Before The Debate, Gilmore Throws a Punch

Former governor James S. Gilmore III, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is trying to undercut Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner's credibility as the two prepare to face off at their first debate Saturday at The Homestead resort.

Gilmore sent out a statement today reminding reporters that Warner, also a former governor, pledged during his 2001 gubernatorial debate with Republican Mark L. Earley that he would not raise taxes.

Warner, who faced a budget shortfall after he took office in 2002 that he says he inherited from Gilmore, ended up pushing for a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004. Gilmore, who denies he left Warner a shortfall, sent out video today of Warner's promise not to raise taxes.


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Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 07/17/2008

Connolly Claims Big Lead Over Fimian

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, the Democratic nominee in the 11th congressional district, claims he has a 31-point lead over his Republican opponent, Keith Fimian.

Connolly's campaign released an internal poll that his pollster, Lake Research Partners, conducted from July 10 to July 14. According to the survey, Connolly receives 52 percent of the vote to Fimian's 21 percent. Independent Green Party candidate Joe Oddo receives 2 percent. The candidates are vying to replace Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who is retiring.

"This is a real pick-up opportunity for Democrats as they seek to expand their governing majority," pollsters Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri wrote in a memo. "Connolly is well-positioned to win."

But the memo reads somewhat like a fundraising appeal.

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Posted at 8:42 PM ET, 07/16/2008

Virginia Notebook: The State's Purple Places

With Virginia shaping up as a battleground in the presidential contest between Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.),a few counties and cities will be key in deciding whether the state goes blue this year for the first time since 1964.

Just as the national map can be sliced into blue, red and purple states, so, too, can Virginia's 134 counties and cities.

In Northern Virginia, political analysts say, Obama will probably win in Alexandria and Arlington and Fairfax counties, given recent voting patterns. Democrats also usually rack up big wins in Richmond, Norfolk and Charlottesville. McCain will probably have a strong advantage in rural counties in western and southern Virginia.

What follows is a list of 10 Virginia locations that could be up for grabs.

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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 07/15/2008

Campaign Finance Information

Today is the deadline for both state and federal campaign finance reports. As the tallies for elected officials, parties and campaign committees are released, we will post them here.

Former governor James S. Gilmore III, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, raised $250,000 between May 21 and June 31. Gilmore has about $117,000 in the bank. Since he launched his campaign last fall, Gilmore has raised about $1.2 million.

Former governor Mark R. Warner, a Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate, reports raising $2.9 million from April 1 to June 30. Warner has about $5.1 million in the bank. Warner has raised $9.3 million since he got into the race in September.

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the likely Republican nominee for governor in 2009, will report he raised $878,000 so far this year. McDonnell has about $1.2 million in the bank.

Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), who seeking the Democratic nomination for governor next year, says he raised about $1.4 million during the first six months of the year, although some of the money had been transferred from an old political account. Moran has $924,000 in the bank.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), a Democratic candidate for governor next year, reports he raised $783,000 so far this year. Deeds has $650,000 on hand.

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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 07/11/2008

DCCC Reserves Airtime in DC Market

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $1.3 million of airtime to run ads this fall in Northern Virginia's increasingly Democratic 11th congressional district, according to party officials.

Democrat Gerald E. Connolly, the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is running against Republican Keith Fimian to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).

National Democrats are optimistic they can pick up Davis's seat, but President Bush won the 11th District by 2,000 votes in 2004, which could indicate a competitive congressional race this fall.

In all, the DCCC has reserved airtime in 31 districts nationwide, according to a report on Politico's website. The DCCC does not appear to be reserving airtime for any other Virginia race, despite suggestions from some Democrats that GOP Reps. Thelma D. Drake, Virgil Goode and Frank R. Wolf could also be in for tough races this year. But a DCCC official notes those races could be added to future television buys.

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Posted at 5:58 PM ET, 07/10/2008

Fimian Has $1 Million For Race Against Connolly

Keith Fimian, the Republican candidate in the 11th Congressional District, announced today he has over $1 million in the bank for his race against Democratic nominee Gerald E. Connolly, the chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors.

Fimian, a businessman, says he has so far taken in about $1.3 million for his effort, including the $325,000 he loaned his campaign shortly after he entered the race. Fimian said his fundraising proves he will have the resources to stay competitive with Connolly, even though the 11th district has an increasingly Democratic tilt.

"With the money I am raising I will be able to deliver my message of bringing accountability to government to citizens across the district and win in November," Fimian said.

Connolly, who secured his party's nomination last month, has not yet released his quarterly fundraising report. But a source close to Connolly said he has about $300,000 in the bank following his costly primary battle against former U.S. Rep. Leslie L. Byrne.

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Posted at 11:18 PM ET, 07/ 3/2008

Democratic Challenger Drops Out Of Race

Democrat Keith Hummel is abandoning his challenge of U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R) in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Prince William County.

Today, Hummel announced that he was suspending his campaign, citing past financial difficulties and lamenting "the politics of personal attack and destruction."

"Unfortunately, our elections today revolve around narrow and simplistic assessments of viability,'' he said in a statement. "Under such circumstances, it is little wonder that the politics of personal attack and destruction turn the mistakes of the past into harbingers of the future with little understanding that the brutal lessons learned through our life's struggles are valuable ingredients for successful leaders."

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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 07/ 2/2008

Virginia Notebook: Democrats Stuck in Neutral

Shortly after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) called a special session to try to tackle transportation funding issues, the governor gave a blunt assessment of what he hoped to accomplish by advocating a tax increase even though he didn't have the support of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

"It will be very productive to either try to find a solution or make it plain to people who are standing in the way," Kaine said in an interview with The Washington Post in May. "We are going to make something happen or let the public see who is obstructing, and frankly, that is one of the reasons why Democrats have won elections in Virginia."

But 10 days into the special session on transportation -- legislators have been on vacation for six of those days -- it remains uncertain whether any solution will be found or whether the governor will score any of those political points.

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Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 07/ 2/2008

Kaine Lands Another $100,000 Plus Donor

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) now has another $100,000 donor to his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward.

John O. Wynne, retired president and chief executive officer of Landmark Communications, which owns The Weather Channel and several newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and Roanoke Times, gave Moving Virginia Forward $25,000 on June 20. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Wynne has contributed $125,000 to Moving Virginia Forward.

There are now six individuals or organizations that have contributed at least $100,000 to Kaine's political committee, which he uses to try to bolster the Virginia Democratic Party, including the governor's successful efforts last year in winning control of the state Senate, according to the Virginia Board of Elections and the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Posted at 2:47 PM ET, 06/30/2008

Mark Warner's Money Boosts His Campaign, Party

Former governor Mark R. Warner and his wife, Lisa Collis, kicked in a lot of cash to get the Virginia Democratic Party's campaign efforts off the ground.

Some of Warner's biggest supporters aided in the effort, donating to a new Virginia Democratic fundraising committee after they gave all they legally can to Warner's Senate campaign.

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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 06/30/2008

Democrats Take Aim at Drake, Goode Over Gas

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching radio ads this week against U.S. Reps. Thelma D. Drake and Virgil Goode, both Republicans who represent Virginia districts that could be up for grabs in the fall.

In the 60 second ad, an impersonator of President Bush accuses Drake or Goode of siding with "Big Oil."

The ad that will run in Virginia Beach, which Drake represents, begins when the Bush impersonator gets an answering machine message at Drake's office.

"Drakey, W here," the impersonator states. "Wanted to thank you for continuing to support the Big Oil Energy agenda. 'Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what's good for Big Oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh, heh, heh."

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Posted at 2:46 PM ET, 06/27/2008

Kaine Credits Gilmore's Political Skills

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is urging Democrats not to take Republican Senate James S. Gilmore III for granted. In an email, Kaine urges people to donate to Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner because Gilmore will be formidable.

"Mark Warner is facing one of the fiercest, most aggressive campaigners in our state's history," said Kaine, who is asking people to donate $5 to Warner. "Before you know it, the polls will tighten, negative attacks will hit the airwaves, and Mark will need the resources to fire back and get his message out."

Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokesman, said she doesn't have a problem with Kaine calling her boss "fierce".

"They realize this race is not over as some folks have said," Gamonal said. "We absolutely believe as we move forward into the debates and we start talking substance and policy issues, and Mark Warner is forced to take positions, that Jim Gilmore will win the November election."

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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 06/27/2008

Virginia GOP Has New Director

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William), the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, announced today that Allison Coccia will be the new executive director of the party.

Coccia is the former executive director of the New York Republican State Committee and has also been the political director of Republican Party of Pennsylvania. In both jobs, her task was complicated by an electorate that had soured on the GOP brand.

"After a thorough search that entailed interviewing several outstanding candidates, I concluded that Allison offers us a proven record at improving fundraising, communications, and building the grassroots," Frederick said.

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Posted at 1:20 PM ET, 06/20/2008

Virginia's 11th District Likely to Flip, Cillizza says

Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza ranks the seat of retiring Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) as the second most likely congressional district in the country to flip from one party to the other in this year's elections.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, who secured the Democratic nomination 10 days ago, is running against Republican businessman Keith Fimian in Virginia's 11th District.

No other Virginia district makes Cillizza's top 20 list this week, but some Democrats believe Rep. Thelma Drake, a Republican who represents Virginia Beach, is vulnerable. Virginia Democrats are also hopeful they can give GOP Reps. Frank R. Wolf in Northern Virginia and Virgil Goode in Southside tough races, even though they represent Republican-leaning districts.

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Posted at 8:29 AM ET, 06/19/2008

Democrats Aim for Seat in Hampton Roads

Here's more evidence that national Democrats are looking to pick up a congressional seat in Virginia's Hampton Roads this November.

Glenn Nye, the Democratic candidate running against U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake, was placed in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program, which directs assistance to Democratic challengers across the nation.

"As a part of the Red to Blue program, we look forward to the growth of support from individuals in the district and around the country," Nye said. "Being on the Red to Blue presents our campaign with a great opportunity to get out our message of real results and independent leadership to the people of Virginia."

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Posted at 10:44 PM ET, 06/17/2008

Van Hollen Helps Feder Raise Money

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will host a reception Tuesday in support of Judy Feder, the Democratic candidate running against Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.).

The fundraiser will be held at the Potomac Maryland home of Nancy and Ira Shapiro, a lawyer who served as a trade negotiator during the Clinton administration.

The wealthy Maryland suburbs have been a steady stream of cash for Feder, who also served in the Clinton administration.

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Posted at 10:11 PM ET, 06/17/2008

Organizers Coming to a Door Near You

The Virginia Organizing Project, a group dedicated to combating racial and economic injustice, is engaged in a big effort this year to spread its political message and register new voters.

The Charlottesville-based group has 10 paid field organizers and 50 interns fanned out across the state knocking on doors each day. On an average night, they can hit as many as 4,000 households, according to Joe Szakos, the executive director.

By the end of July, Szakos said the staffers and interns and other volunteers will have distributed about 300,000 voting guides, which contain information about state and federal issues and details on how and where to go to register to vote.

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Posted at 12:38 AM ET, 06/15/2008

Convention Recap

As the 2008 Virginia Democratic Party convention draws to a close, here are eight observations about the weekend's events at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.

1) If the Democrats' goal was to leave the convention united behind Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), they still have a lot of work to do. Surprisingly, numerous supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) said they weren't sure if they would vote for Obama in the fall.

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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 06/12/2008

Report: Forbes, Goode Haven't Endorsed McCain

The Hill Newspaper reported last night that U.S. Reps. Virgil Goode and Randy Forbes, both of Virginia, are among 14 GOP members of who Congress who "have refused to endorse or publicly support" presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, an Arizona senator.

The article gave no explanation as to why Forbes or Goode haven't rallied behind McCain, or whether they ever plan to. A spokesperson for Forbes was not immediately available to comment today. Linwood Duncan, Goode's spokesman, said, "Virgil has not made any endorsements in any races this year." Duncan wasn't sure if Goode planned to make any endorsements later in the year.

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Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 06/11/2008

Low Turnout Yesterday Says Little About November

Democrat Gerald E. Connolly of Fairfax County, the top elected official of the region's largest jurisdiction, won a decisive primary victory yesterday in Northern Virginia's 11th Congressional District against former representative Leslie L. Byrne.

But with less than 6 percent of registered voters participating in the election, the results don't say a whole lot about what could happen come November.

Connolly beat Byrne with nearly 58 percent of the vote to her 33 percent. In raw numbers, however, he won by just over 6,000 votes -- little more than 1 percent of the 11th Congressional District's 446,000 active registered voters.

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Posted at 9:25 PM ET, 06/10/2008

Connolly Wins 11th District

9:25 p.m.
Here's what Gerald E. Connolly had to say minutes after winning.

"We come out of this landslide win going into November in a very strong position," he told my colleague Amy Gardner, referring to his next opponent, Republican newcomer Keith S. Fimian, a local businessman, who is well-financed for the fall campaign.

"This is going to be one of the most targeted races in the country. It's a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats."

9:15 p.m.
Mark W. Elmore has won the 8th District GOP race. He held a 10 point lead over Amit K. Singh, with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting.

9:10 p.m.
Leslie L. Byrne just conceded.

9:05 p.m.

Gerald E. Connolly has won the hotly contested Democratic primary. He beat out three competitors, fighting off a tough challenge from former representative Leslie L. Byrne.

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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 06/10/2008

Did You Vote Today?

Bob commented about the primary today and said, "I voted today--at 7:50 AM. I noticed I was the 6th person to vote...sad. I figure if candidates can put in the time, effort and energy it takes to run--plus the willingness to put themselves "out there" in the public eye-- we as the public should at least respect their efforts, show up at the polls and cast a vote."

We want to hear from you. Take the poll and tell us about your voting experience in the comment section below.

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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 06/10/2008

Turnout Worse Than Expected on Primary Day

After morning and lunch-hour rushes that looked more like a trickle, Northern Virginia election officials predicted historically low turnout in today's congressional primaries despite a fiercely competitive Democratic contest for an open seat in the 11th District, where Republican Tom Davis is retiring.


At Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, Democratic candidate Leslie Byrne greets a prospective voter and his son at the polls. (By Emma Patti -- washingtonpost.com)

Through much of the afternoon, precincts across the region looked like ghost towns. At the Fair Oaks precinct of central Fairfax County, just 15 ballots had been cast at 2 p.m., officials said.

"Turnout is, I don't want to say anemic, but turnout is very, very, very, very light," said Rokey Suleman, Fairfax County's general registrar, who predicted that turnout was unlikely to exceed 5 percent by the time polls close at 7 p.m. -- a dismal contrast to the one-third of registered voters who participated in February's presidential contest statewide. Turnout in the 2006 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate was 5.8 percent in Fairfax County.

In Fairfax City, general registrar Jeremiah Vangen reported just 605 ballots cast by 2 p.m. out of more than 14,000 registered voters. Polls close at 7 p.m.


At the Mantua polling place, Democratic candidate Gerry Connolly greets Mantua precinct captain Patty Parker before voting. (By Emma Patti -- washingtonpost.com)

"The presidential campaign has overshadowed this campaign," said Sally Ormsby, a precinct captain at the Price precinct in central Fairfax County. "People weren't focused on this, even though it's a huge competition."

In the hotly contested 11th District, which encompasses central and southern Fairfax County and a swath of Prince William County, low turnout adds a measure of uncertainty in a four-way primary battle between Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, former representative Leslie L. Byrne, former Navy pilot Doug Denneny and physical therapist Lori P. Alexander.

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Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 06/ 9/2008

Walter Curt Heads Up GOP Fundraising

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William), the newly elected chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, continues to shake up the leadership of the state party.

Since defeating former lieutenant governor John H. Hager for the chairman's job last weekend, many of the state party's senior staffers have resigned or been dismissed.

Frederick plans to announce today that Walter M. Curt, owner of Power Motors Inc, a Harrisonburg-based technology firm, will be the party's new finance chairman. Curt replaces Fred Malek, who resigned from his finance role at the state party last week. Malek still serves as the deputy national finance chairman for Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

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Posted at 7:35 PM ET, 06/ 6/2008

John Warner Donates $2,000 to Gilmore

Sen. John W. Warner (R), who is retiring, announced today he has contributed $2,000 to former Republican governor James S. Gilmore III's campaign to succeed him in the Senate.

Warner's announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Hill newspaper that speculated the state's senior senator may not support Gilmore, who secured the GOP nomination last weekend. Warner apparently made the donation to Gilmore sometime this week.

In a statement, Warner said he has also donated $2,000 each this month to GOP Reps. Frank R. Wolf, Thelma Drake, Eric I. Cantor, Randy Forbes and Robert Goodlatte, all of whom are seeking reelection.

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Posted at 1:53 PM ET, 06/ 5/2008

Rep. Scott endorses Byrne; labor union backs Connolly

U.S. Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-Va.) said today he has endorsed Leslie L. Byrne in the hotly contested Democratic primary in the 11th Congressional District, while the Mid-Atlantic Laborers Union has backed Byrne rival Gerald E. Connolly.

Scott, who lives in Newport News and represents Virginia's only majority-African-American district, worked alongside Byrne both in the General Assembly and in Congress during her one term in the early 1990s. Like Byrne, he is viewed as one of Virginia's most prominent liberal Democrats.

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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 06/ 4/2008

Virginia Notebook: GOP Questions Answered

Here are the answers to the election questions asked in last week's Virginia Notebook.

On Friday and Saturday, Republicans gathered at a Richmond convention center to select their nominee to fill the seat of retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R). They also elected a party chairman and delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 06/ 2/2008

Sam Rasoul Hopes Cheap Gas Turns Into Votes

Democrat Sam Rasoul has figured out a way to generate interest in his underdog campaign against U.S. Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.).

On Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m., Rasoul's campaign staff will be pumping discounted gas at the Texaco Food Mart on South High Street in Harrisonburg. For 40 minutes, motorists will be able to get up to 10 gallons of gas for $1-a-gallon less than retail price.

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Posted at 7:58 PM ET, 05/31/2008

The Fallout from Frederick's Win

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick's election today as the new chairman of Virginia Republican Party will likely lead to some big changes at GOP headquarters, including possibly a new executive director, according to party officials.

Under former lieutenant governor John H. Hager, who Frederick unseated today in the chairman's race, Charles E. Judd served as executive director.

"You will probably be hearing some news about that next week," said Frederick, who lives in Prince William County. "I ran to make changes, so we will be making some changes." He declined further comment.

It's unclear how national Republicans in Washington will react to Frederick's efforts to shake up the party in the middle of a presidential race.

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Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 05/30/2008

Byrne Outraised Connolly in April, May

In the heated race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th congressional district, former congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne out-raised Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly over the past two months.

Byrne and Connolly, widely regarded as the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed retiring Rep Tom Davis (R-Va.), now both have roughly the same amount of money to spend during the final two weeks leading up to June 10 primary.

According to campaign finance reports, Byrne raised $182,000 between April 1 and May 21, and has $286,000 in the bank. Connolly, who had a significant cash-on-hand advantage over Byrne just two months ago, reported he raised $152,000 during the same time period. Connolly has $280,000 in the bank.

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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 05/28/2008

Virginia Notebook: 15 Questions for VA GOP

Thousands of party activists will converge on the Greater Richmond Convention Center this weekend for the state Republican convention.

Republicans will select their nominee for the race to fill the seat of retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R). They will also elect a party chairman and delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

The convention will offer insight into the future direction of the party and clues into upcoming state and federal elections. Here are 15 questions the convention might help to answer. You can check back next week to find out the answers

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Posted at 8:44 AM ET, 05/28/2008

Judy Feder Passes $1 Million Mark

Judy Feder, a Democratic candidate in the 10th congressional district, will announce today she has raised more than $1 million for her campaign, her campaign staff said last night.

Feder, one of the best funded challengers in the country, faces Mike Turner in the June 10th Democratic primary. The winner will take on U.S. Rep Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.).

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Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 05/27/2008

Big Donors Boost Kaine's Fundraising

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has raised more than $370,000 from 15 contributors since mid March, a clear sign he plans to remain active in the political process even though he cannot seek reelection.

Kaine's fundraising for his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, includes a $100,000 donation on April 10 from Radford billionaire R.J. Kirk. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Kirk has donated $550,000 to Kaine's political committee, according to the State Board of Elections.

Kaine has received another $35,000 in donations since mid April from Shelia Johnston, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnston has contributed a total of $185,000 to Kaine since 2006.

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Posted at 5:25 PM ET, 05/21/2008

A Byrne Poll in the 11th

The congressional campaign of Leslie L. Byrne has released details from an internal poll showing her in a statistical dead heat with fellow Democrat Gerald E. Connolly.

The two are competing in the June 10 primary along with two others, Doug Denneny and Lori P. Alexander, for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District, where incumbent Tom Davis is retiring. The winner will face Republican newcomer Keith Fimian in the fall in an increasingly blue-leaning district that includes much of central Fairfax County and a part of Prince William County.

According to an internal memo issued by the campaign, Connolly is ahead of Byrne 37 percent to 34 percent among likely Democratic primary voters -- a statistical dead heat given the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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Posted at 5:43 PM ET, 05/19/2008

Cheney to Speak to Virginia GOP

Vice-President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising gala at the Virginia Republican Party state convention next weekend in Richmond, party officials said today.

Cheney's appearance will almost certainly become fodder for Virginia Democrats, who are trying to link the GOP and its presumptive presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, to the Bush administration.

But the event will be a big money maker for the state GOP, which has been working to keep pace with Virginia Democrats in fundraising.

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Posted at 5:32 PM ET, 05/15/2008

McCain, GOP Prepare for Virginia Campaign

Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is getting a head start on the Democrats when it comes to opening a state headquarters in Virginia.

The McCain campaign, which is partnering with the Virginia Republican Party, is opening an office in the 1200 block of South Clark Street in Arlington. Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, and state party chairman John H. Hager plan to hold a grand opening event at the office on Monday.

The office will serve as "the nerve center" for party officials helping McCain as well as GOP candidates running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, according to a news release from the state party.

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Posted at 4:40 PM ET, 05/15/2008

Nye Says He's Competitive With Drake

Glenn Nye, a Democrat running in the 2nd Congressional District, released an internal poll today that shows he's well positioned to unseat incumbent Thelma Drake (R-Va) this year, especially if Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is his party's nominee for president.

In the survey by the firm of Bennett, Petts & Normington, only 40 percent of voters say they want to reelect Drake. In a head to head match up, Nye gets 32 percent of the vote, compared to Drake's 48 percent. But the polling memo notes that only 9 percent of voters can currently recognize Nye's name.

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Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 05/15/2008

Warner Given Warning About Black Vote

Is former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner, the presumptive Democratic nominee in this year's U.S. Senate race, taking black voters for granted?

Maybe, according to the Richmond Free Press, the city's black newspaper.

In an editorial this morning, the newspaper warned Warner he does not have a lock on the African-American vote. Although the editorial board conceded Warner is heavily favored to win in the fall, it noted former senator George Allen (R) was also the front-runner a few months before he lost his bid for reelection to Democrat James Webb.

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Posted at 1:34 PM ET, 05/ 8/2008

Republicans Try to Build the Party

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John H. Hager anounced today they are leading an effort to build the party's grassroots organizations across the state.

The effort calls on local Republican committees to double their membership lists by Labor Day. Those that do will receive extra money to support their activities, including get-out-the-vote efforts for the November elections.

"Reaching out to those Virginians who share our principles and getting them involved is essential to strengthening the Republican Party and winning elections," Hager said. "This initiative reflects the unity within the party and will pay dividends not only in 2008, but in years to come as well."

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Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 04/30/2008

GOP Rallies Behind McDonnell-Bolling Ticket

In a sign that Virginia Republicans are ready to move beyond their recent internal divisions, 50 elected and party officials announced today they are supporting Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in next year's state races.

Last month, Bolling announced he will seek reelection next year, which cleared the way for McDonnell to run for governor. McDonnell, so far the only GOP candidate in the race, said he and Bolling will run as a team, giving the GOP ticket a potential advantage over the Democrats, who may be distracted by a primary battle for governor between Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath).

In a letter, all eight Republican member of Congress from Virginia, every Republican district chair, the entire General Assembly GOP leadership team and the leadership of the state party said they were endorsing the McDonnell-Bolling ticket.

"A McDonnell-Bolling ticket will unite our Republican party around its core conservative principles," the letter stated. "After two successive Democratic administrations, now is the time for our Republican Party to unite behind this strong, energetic ticket."

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Posted at 3:23 PM ET, 04/25/2008

Cantor Says McCain Will Have to Work For VA

U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va) said today that Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, will have to work hard to make sure the Democratic presidential candidate doesn't win Virginia's 13 electoral votes in the fall.

"I'm just worried, given the track record our party has demonstrated over the past three statewide elections, we've got some work to do," said Cantor, referring to Democrats' success in winning the last two governor's races and the 2006 U.S. Senate race.

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Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 04/23/2008

Eric Cantor for Vice President?

The Republican National Committee announced today that U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) will head up the GOP effort to reach out to Jewish voters this year.

Cantor, the chief deputy House minority whip, will be tasked with bolstering Arizona Sen. John McCain's appeal among Jewish voters, who have traditionally aligned with Democrats but who have been increasingly receptive to the Republican message on foreign affairs.

"Senator John McCain has been a long-time advocate for a strong relationship between America and Israel," said Cantor. "Our next President will inherit a Middle East region that is at a crossroads. One path leads to security and peace, the other, chaos. I believe John McCain has the experience and character to be an aggressive advocate for a secure Israel and stable Middle East."

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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 04/16/2008

Costly Battles for Congress on the Horizon

Democrat Tom Perriello, a candidate for Congress in the 5th District, outraised Rep. Virgil Goode for the third consecutive quarter but the incumbent still has a bit more money in the bank.

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Goode raised $438,000 during the first three months of the year and has $593,000 in the bank. Earlier this month, Perriello reported he raised $600,000 from Jan 1 to March 31. He has $500,000 in the bank.

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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 04/16/2008

Fimian Rolls Up Big Bucks

The big money is not all on the Democratic side in the 11th Congressional District race.

Republican Keith Fimian announced that he has raised $838,000--with $742,000 cash on hand--in the campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R). The Oakton resident, a former football star at the College of William and Mary, owns U.S. Inspect, a home inspection company.

Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, leads fundraising in the Democratic field with $500,000 amassed during the first quarter of 2008.

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Posted at 6:04 PM ET, 04/14/2008

Connolly Still Leads the Money Race

The money keeps flowing into the 11th Congressional District's Democratic primary showdown.

According to disclosure reports to be filed to the Federal Election Commission tomorrow, Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is leading the pack of four after raising $500,000 during the first quarter of 2008.

As of March 31, Connolly had $424,000 on hand, his campaign reported.


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Posted at 3:33 PM ET, 04/ 9/2008

Connolly Up 20 Points in Poll

New polling by Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly continues to show him with a significant lead over Leslie L. Byrne in the race for the 11th District Democratic Congressional nomination.

The poll of likely Democratic primary voters, first reported yesterday by the Congressional newspaper The Hill, had Connolly ahead of Byrne by a 20-point margin, 45-25. That is just slightly below the 23-point spread Connolly claimed in a January poll. Both surveys were conducted by Lake Research Partners.

It shows two other opponents, Doug Denneny and Lori Alexander, trailing far behind with one percent each.

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Posted at 3:17 PM ET, 04/ 8/2008

Denneny Urges Superdelegates to Support Obama

Doug Denneny, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 11th congressional district, has joined nearly 40 other party leaders in urging Virginia's superdelegates to endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

"I voted for Senator Obama because I believe he has the experience and judgment to lead our country," said Denneny, a retired Naval Flight Officer. "With a resounding voice, Virginia Democrats chose Senator Obama to be our party's presidential nominee, party elites should not overrule the will of the people."

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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 04/ 7/2008

Judy Feder has $700,000 in Campaign Cash

Democrat Judy Feder raised $310,000 during the first three months of the year, bringing her total haul for her campaign against Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) to $900,000.

Feder, one of the best funded Democratic challengers in the country, will report today she has $700,000 in the bank.

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Posted at 4:01 PM ET, 04/ 5/2008

Perriello's Efforts in Middle East Scrutinized

Democrat Tom Perriello's congressional campaign had been on the upswing in recent weeks.

Perriello announced last week he has bankrolled $500,000 for his campaign against Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), who represents a conservative district that stretches from Charlottesville to Danville. Perriello, an attorney, got another piece of good news last week when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it will be targeting Goode, setting the stage for his toughest reelection battle to date.

But now comes this potentially damaging article from the Danville Register & Bee, which could become fodder for Goode and Republicans.

Perriello's apparent efforts to apologize to Arabs for the conduct of U.S. forces in Iraq sets up an interesting contrast in the campaign. Goode made national headlines in 2006 for suggesting Muslims shouldn't be in Congress.

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Posted at 7:02 PM ET, 03/27/2008

Cranking Out the Endorsements in the 11th

Endorsements are a chronically overvalued commodity in politics. Remember a few weeks ago when Ted Kennedy's testimonial to Barack Obama at American University was heralded as a ground-changing event?

But that's never stopped campaigns from cranking them out--big names and little ones. Gerry Connolly announced 29 local officials on Wednesday in his campaign for the 11th District Democratic Congressional nomination. Today was House of Delegates day: Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-Fairfax); Del. James M. Scott (D-Fairfax); Del. David L. Bulova (D-Fairfax); Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax); Del. Dave W. Marsden (D-Fairfax); Del. C. Charles Caputo (D-Fairfax), and Del. Paul F. Nichols (D-Prince William).

Former Rep. Leslie L. Byrne has her own long state house list, including Del. Robert D. Hull (D-Fairfax); Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-Fairfax) and Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake), DNC National Committeeman. Byrne has also brought home the marquee endorsement of the race to date, Sen. James Webb.


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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 03/21/2008

Connolly, Firefighters Continue a Beautiful Friendship

As investments go, Gerald E. Connolly has yielded pretty good returns for Fairfax County firefighters and paramedics.

Their union, Local 2068 of the International Association of Firefighters, has put up nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to the Board of Supervisors chairman over the last four years.

During that period, they've received salary increases significantly higher than those of other county employees. County and union officials say there was no quid pro quo, and that the raises were strictly a matter of keeping public safety pay competitive with surrounding communities.

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Posted at 1:51 PM ET, 03/19/2008

Denneny Decries 11th District Squabbling

While Leslie L. Byrne and Gerald E. Connolly trade charge and countercharge about their records and tactics, 11th District Democratic Congressional candidate Doug Denneny is trying to gain some ground on the high road.

"Just like the career politicians they are, Doug's opponents are quibbling over campaign tactics instead of focusing on the real problems facing voters in the 11th district," his communications director, Kevin Franck, said in a statement today. "The fact that our opponents have gone negative so early in this race is troubling."

Franck said such intramural food fights are especially unseemly on the 5th anniverary of the Iraq War. Denneny is a former Navy pilot and Iraq war veteran.

"Brave men and women of our armed forces are still in harms way," he said. "Getting our country back on track will require real leadership for a change, not inside-baseball political fights. Let's keep our eye on the ball."


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Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 03/14/2008

Connolly Brings on the Green on St. Pat's Day

St. Patrick's Day may not be, as Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly likes to joke, "the holiest day of the year." But for Connolly it's certainly the most profitable.

Connolly, running for the 11th District Democratic Congressional nomination, will once again celebrate with high and low-end fundraisers. He'll hold a $1,000-a-plate lunch at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, followed by his 14th annual fete Monday evening at the Kena Temple on Route 50, where Democrats will pay $35-a-head for beer, corned beef and cabbage.

Last year's lunch brought in about $300,000 for his campaign for a second term as Fairfax Board chairman, which he won in November.


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Posted at 1:21 PM ET, 03/12/2008

VoteVets.org Will Endorse Doug Denneny

VoteVets.org, a political action committee dedicated to helping candidates who oppose the Iraq war, will announce tomorrow they are endorsing Democrat Doug Denneny in the 11th congressional district race to replace Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R), who is retiring.

Founded in 2006, VoteVets.org PAC takes credit for helping to elect four veterans to Congress that year, including Reps. Patrick Murphy, Joe Sestak and Chris Carney, all Democrats from Pennsylvania. The group also aired a television ad in 2006 aimed at helping Virginia Sen. James Webb in his race against Republican George Allen. The controversial ad, which featured a man shooting into a bullet-proof vest, implied that Allen voted against funding body armor for troops in Iraq when he was in the Senate.

Denneny, a retired naval commander, is running against Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, former Rep. Leslie L. Byrne and community activist Lori Alexander for the Democratic nomination.

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Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 03/10/2008

Connolly Far Ahead, His Poll Shows

Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and candidate for the congressional seat of retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), released poll results today giving him a 23-point lead over Democratic rival Leslie L. Byrne.

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Posted at 3:16 PM ET, 03/ 6/2008

Webb Endorses Byrne

Sen. James Webb said today he is endorsing Leslie L. Byrne in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th congressional district.

"I am convinced that Leslie Byrne is our best candidate," Webb said in a statement. " Leslie shares my values about economic fairness and the need to re-order our national security policies - both in Iraq and throughout the world. In her service as a state legislator and member of Congress, Leslie Byrne has demonstrated time and again that she is tough, fiercely independent and willing to stand up to powerful special interests. I would be proud to serve in Congress with her."

Byrne is running against Fairfax County Board chairman Gerald E. Connolly, retired naval commander Doug Denneny and Lori P. Alexander in the June 10 Democratic primary. Incumbent Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) is retiring.

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Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 03/ 4/2008

Perriello-Goode Race Takes Shape

Tom Perriello has secured the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), whose district stretches from Charlottesville to Danville, in the fall election.

Perriello gets the nomination because no other Democrat met yesterday's filing deadline to enter the race. In January, Democrat David Shreve of Charlottesville withdrew from the race.

"I'm thrilled to lock up the nomination this early and to see such an overwhelming response from Democrats, Republicans and independents to our positive agenda for moving our communities forward together," Perriello said.

Goode, first elected in 1996, has deep roots in the traditionally conservative 5th congressional district, easily winning reelection. But Perriello could prove to be a formidable challenger. Perriello, a lawyer, raised $263,665 last year, compared to Goode's $152,863. Perrielo has already opened campaign offices in Franklin County and Charlottesville and will be opening a third office in Danville soon.

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Posted at 1:28 PM ET, 02/27/2008

Fairfax Budget Gets Political in a Hurry

The Eleventh District Congressional race, and the prospect of a fight to succeed Fairfax Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, are already resonating in the debate over the budget proposed on Monday by County Executive Anthony H. Griffin.

The Republican minority on the 10-member Board of Supervisors intends to use its grievances about the spending plan to soften up Connolly, who would be the Democratic nominee in November if he defeats former Rep. Leslie L. Byrne, Navy veteran Doug Denneny and physical therapist Lori Alexander in the June 10 primary.

At the same time, the two leading aspirants to succeed Connolly should he win the 11th District seat, Supervisors Sharon Bulova (D-Braddock) and Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) are firmly positioned on opposite sides of Griffin's blueprint.

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Posted at 2:44 PM ET, 02/21/2008

Hurst Endorses Connolly

Andrew Hurst, the 2006 Democratic Congressional nominee in the 11th District, has endorsed Gerald E. Connolly in the party's June 10 primary.

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Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 02/20/2008

Virginia Notebook: Are Obama Voters Bad News for GOP?

Sen. Barack Obama didn't just beat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Virginia Democratic primary Feb..12. He defeated her so handily that Virginia politicians running for Congress or statewide office might want to study the results for clues about their political futures.

Obama's 28-point margin of victory was one of the largest percentage-point wins in recent history by a candidate in a supposedly competitive statewide primary or general election.

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Posted at 9:05 AM ET, 02/16/2008

Feder's Fat Wallet

Judy Feder, one of the Democratic challengers to U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) this year, has made CQ Politics' top 10 list of best-funded, opposite party challengers. She's ranked ninth in the cash-on-hand department.

Feder is known for her fund-raising abilities. In 2006, she amassed more than $1.5 million in her first match-up against the popular 14-term incumbent, who raised just over $1.7 million.

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Posted at 1:24 PM ET, 02/ 4/2008

EMILY'S List Endorses Leslie Byrne

EMILY's List, which is dedicated to helping women win elective office, announced today they are supporting Leslie L. Byrne in the Democratic primary for Congress in the 11th Distirct.

"Leslie Byrne is a strong, proven leader with more than 20 years of service to her community," said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of EMILY's List. "From her early participation with local PTAs and the League of Women Voters, to her position in the Virginia House of Delegates, to her term in the U.S. Congress, Leslie has shown uncommon integrity, leadership and dedication. EMILY's List is proud to support Leslie Byrne in her bid to represent Virginia's 11th District."

Byrne is likely to face three challengers, including Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, in the June 10 primary.


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Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 01/31/2008

Tim Hugo on Run For Congress: "We'll See"

Is Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) rethinking his decision not to run for Congress in the 11th congressional district?

Earlier this month, Hugo said he decided not to seek the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va), who announced yesterday he is retiring after 13 years in the House. With Davis now out of the race, Hugo may be reconsidering.

"I've had a lot of calls," said Hugo, who some Republicans believe would be their strongest candidate. "I need to talk to my wife. We'll see."

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Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 01/29/2008

Is The Race On?

Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, still hasn't moved past the "exploratory" phase of his bid for Congress. But his committee very proudly shared some early fundraising numbers to make the point that Connolly has the ability to run a well-financed campaign.

According to James Walkinshaw, who runs Connolly's exploratory committee, Connolly has raised $161,000 since the beginning of January, when he announced the formation of the committee to pursue a bid in the 11th Congressional District. By contrast, fellow Democrat Leslie L. Byrne will report at the end of the month that she raised $115,000 between the November elections and the new year, she said in an interview yesterday.

"That's in just three and a half weeks," Walkinshaw said.

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Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 01/29/2008

Will He or Won't He?

The suspense continues to build about whether U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) will seek an eighth term representing Northern Virginia this year. Davis has said for months that he would announce a decision by the end of January. And here we are.

Despite media reports that Davis has decided to retire, he told WTOP this morning that he has not yet made a decision. Most observers believe retirement is the likelier of the two possibilities, but as a source close to Davis not authorized to speak for the congressman said today: "Anyone who says they know what Tom is doing knows more than Tom, because he hasn't made a decision yet."

A Davis retirement has all kinds of implications for the region. Most immediate is the likelihood that Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, would upgrade his "exploratory campaign" to a full-fledged candidacy, facing off against fellow Democrats Leslie L. Byrne and Doug Denneny in what is sure to be an exciting and competitive primary contest.

Then there's the prospect of losing Davis's seniority in the House, where he is ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and has taken a lead role pushing for D.C. voting rights.

Stay tuned. An announcement is nigh.

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Posted at 1:49 PM ET, 01/23/2008

GOP Chairman Ready to Take on Frederick

John H. Hager said today he plans to seek a full term as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, despite a challenge from Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William).

Hager, who became chairman in July after Ed Gillespie joined the Bush administration, said he wants to continue his efforts to put forward "a reform agenda" for the state party.

"I am not in a career job and I think I can do a good job," Hager said. "We are in good shape financially, which had not been the case before...We are working on being more of a service organization for our elected officials. ... I am imminently involved with all these pieces of the building blocks, so it is probably not a good time to make a change."

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Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 01/23/2008

Connolly Rallies Democratic Family

By day, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) confines his public pronouncements largely to the nuts and bolts of local government. Last night, however, evoked a little of the old time religion for the general membership meeting of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

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Posted at 1:13 PM ET, 01/21/2008

Boucher Says Obama Can Win Rural Vote

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va) formally endorsed Sen. Barack Obama today, saying he is the only Democratic candidate who can carry rural America and Virginia in the general election.

Boucher represents a district that is 93 percent white and includes all of rural southwestern Virginia. During a conference call, a reporter from a local paper asked Boucher if Obama's race would be a factor with voters. Boucher responded Obama's "message of hope and his clear focus on the future...transcends all other issues."

"After watching all of the candidates in their performances so far, the most compelling of the candidates is Senator Obama," Boucher said. "He clearly, in my mind, offers the best opportunity to win the general election."

You can read Boucher's full statement below.

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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/21/2008

Boucher Will Endorse Obama Today

U.S. Rep Rick Boucher, a popular Democrat who represents Virginia's coal country, will announce this afternoon that he is endorsing Barack Obama's presidential bid, according to the Obama campaign.

The campaign has scheduled a 1 p.m. conference call with reporters to announce the endorsement. Boucher refused to comment yesterday, but said he would "talk about the presidential campaign" during a conference call today.

Boucher's support could give Obama a bit of a boost heading into Virginia's Feb. 12 primary. The 9th congressional district still represents an important source of Democratic votes, although it has been trending Republican because of the region's cultural conservatism.

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Posted at 3:18 PM ET, 01/18/2008

Winners & Losers

This week's winners

House Speaker William J. Howell -- Despite lots of pressure from delegates, Howell stands firm in opposing an increase in the daily allowance, or per diem, citing the state's budget shortfall.

Del. Steve Shannon (D-Fairfax)- Campaign finance reports show that Shannon, a possible Democratic candidate for attorney general next year, has over $202,000 in the bank. Shannon is also speaking more often on the House floor, which may help raise his profile in preparation for a statewide campaign.

Del. Lionel Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake) -- Spruill earns headlines nationwide over his bill to make it illegal to hang rubber testicles from a vehicle hitch.

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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 01/16/2008

An Early Look at the Feb.12 Primary--And Beyond

Get ready to be inundated with a series of potentially competitive elections.

Because of the Democratic resurgence in Virginia, voters are going to be facing more choices at the polls over the next two years than they have in decades.

It all starts Feb. 12, with the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 01/16/2008

Power Struggle on the Fairfax Board

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) may already be missing Elaine McConnell.

He seldom clashed publicly with the six-term Republican supervisor from Springfield who retired on Dec. 31. The two got along so well that critics in McConnell's district tagged her a RINO (Republican in Name Only). But Connolly could be in for a different experience with her successor, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield).

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Posted at 4:19 PM ET, 01/15/2008

Bolling Endorses Party Registration

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) has endorsed a bill by Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) that would allow Virginia voters to register with a political party.

Bolling sent a letter to lawmakers today that says party registration would "maintain the integrity of the party nomination process in Virginia" and allow candidates "to more effectively identify voters and efficiently communicate with them."

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Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 01/15/2008

Feder Building Campaign Warchest

Judy Feder, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 10th District, announced today she raised $600,000 in 2007, including almost $250,000 during the last three months of the year.

Feder, a professor at Georgetown, is trying to unseat Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) for the second time. Mike Turner also has filed as a Democratic candidate. The primary is June 10.

Although Wolf easily defeated her In 2006, Feder proved herself to be a proficient fundraiser, having raised over $1.6 million for that campaign

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Posted at 3:01 PM ET, 12/20/2007

DCCC Not Looking to Virginia for Gains

Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, reported this morning that Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has identified 40 Republican-held House seats that Democrats plan to target in next year's elections.

But there were no seats from Virginia on the list, even though there has been plenty of talk in recent months that the state is trending Democratic.

Last year, DCCC made a big push to defeat Rep. Thelma Drake, a Republican who represents Hampton Roads. But Democrats have struggled to find a candidate willing to challenge Drake next year. Earlier this month, there had been talk that Norfolk Sheriff Robert McCabe was considering taking on Drake. But the Virginian Pilot reported this week that McCabe has decided not to run.

In Northern Virginia, some Democrats believe the party has a chance to win either the 10th or 11th congressional district. You can read more about those contests here.

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Posted at 12:29 PM ET, 12/19/2007

Virginia Notebook: Do Byrne, Feder Stand a Chance?

After they won control of the state Senate last month, Virginia Democrats were confident about their potential for future success, even in Republican-leaning areas.

But it took only a month for reality to set in. In many parts of Virginia, voters continue to have strong affection for Republicans.

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Posted at 6:27 PM ET, 12/18/2007

Wolf Opponent Quitting Her Job

Judy Feder, the Democrat who ran unsuccessfully in 2006 against Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), is quitting her job to focus on her effort to challenge Wolf again next year.

Feder announced yesterday she was stepping down as dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute after nine years.

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Posted at 4:14 PM ET, 12/13/2007

Connolly and the "11th Congressional Arena"

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) sounded like he was test-marketing bumper sticker language at his swearing-in ceremony last night.
"Government that works. Results that matter," he said in his inaugural address. That catch-phrase followed a list of achievements straight from the stump speech he used in his resounding November re-election victory over Republican Gary H. Baise.
Conciliation and statesmanship are the usual fare at inaugural ceremonies. But Connolly, who wants to contend for the 11th District Congressional seat if incumbent Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R) retires, seemed to take special pains to soften partisan edges and craft a speech that reached out to Davis' moderate base. He invoked Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech and departed from his prepared text to recognize Baise, who was in attendance, for a round of applause.
"None of us in public life has a corner on the truth," Connolly said. "In public life, dogma serves us poorly. We see it in the political gridlock in Richmond and in Washington.....Respect and humility offer a more productive model for debate in the arena."

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Posted at 6:18 PM ET, 12/12/2007

Kaine Rebuffed by DCCC

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said today he's not sure why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn't invest large amounts of money in Democrat Philip Forgit's unsuccessful campaign in the 1st Congressional District.

In a special election yesterday, Forgit lost to Del. Robert Wittman (R-Westmoreland) by more than 20 points in a Republican-leaning district that stretches from Tidewater to Prince William County. Forgit was badly outspent because he failed to attract support from national Democratic groups.

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Posted at 8:59 PM ET, 12/11/2007

RNC Congratulates Wittman

Republican National Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan said voters "sent a strong statement to Washington" today by electing Del. Robert J. Wittman's (R-Westmoreland) over Democrat Philip Forgit in the 1st District congressional race.

Wittman got 61 percent of the vote in a Republican-leaning district that includes all or part of 18 counties, including Prince William and Fauquier. The vacancy in the 1st District occurred after U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R) died of breast cancer in October.

"Rob Wittman won because he isn't interested in playing the partisan Washington game that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have engaged in over the last year," Duncan said. "He's interested in getting things accomplished for the people of Virginia."

Though Wittman was widely expected to win, his decisive margin could temper talk among Democrats that Virginia is turning blue. Forgit, who received 37 percent of the vote, fared even worse among 1st District voters than Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass) did in the 2004 presidential race. But Forgit performed slightly better than Democrat Shawn O'Donnell did in his matchup against Davis in 2006, although just 16 percent of registered voters showed up to vote today.

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Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 12/11/2007

Kaine, Warner Won't be Celebrating (or Crying) with Forgit

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and former governor Mark R. Warner, both Democrats, have never been known to miss a good victory celebration.

Last year, Kaine and Warner took center stage at Sen. James Webb's (D) election night party. And last month, Kaine and Warner were partying it up in Tysons Corner after Democrats won control of the state senate.

But neither Kaine nor Warner plan to be with Democrat Philip Forgit tonight as he watches the returns in his race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va).

Forgit is running against Republican Del. Robert J. Wittman in a district that leans Republican. Despite some last minute help from Kaine and Warner, the race never attracted much attention from national Democrats.


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Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 12/ 7/2007

Winners and Losers

Winners

Legislative Black Caucus - Senate leaders announced this week that four out of five African-American senators will chair a committee when the General Assembly convenes in January, a stunning ascendancy in power in a state that has historically be run by white men.

Doug Denneny - A Democratic House candidate in the 11th congressional district, Denneny was endorsed this week by U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa), a rising star within the Democratic party. Denneny and Murphy are both veterans of the war an Iraq, which they oppose.

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Posted at 7:26 PM ET, 12/ 5/2007

Virginia Notebook: Gilmore vs. Warner & Clinton

To figure out James S. Gilmore III's campaign strategy in next year's U.S. Senate race, one only has to listen to him for a few minutes.

In an interview with reporters at the Virginia Republican Party retreat last weekend, Gilmore stressed that former governor Mark R. Warner, the likely Democratic nominee for Senate, won't be on the ballot by himself.

"My strategy is defeating a Clinton-Warner ticket," said Gilmore, who is assuming that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York will be the Democratic nominee for president. "It will be Hillary Clinton together with Mark Warner, and at that point, people's opinion about the ticket will change."

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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 12/ 4/2007

Doug Denneny Gets Big Name Backer

Doug Denneny , retired Naval commander, is getting some high-powered support for his bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 11th district.

U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, an Iraq war veteran and retired WestPoint professor, will headline a fundraiser for Denneny Tuesday in Vienna.

Murphy (D-Pa) is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party after he unseated Republican Mike Fitzpatrick last year. Murphy is the only Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress.

Denneny is also an Iraq war veteran. According to Denneny's biography, he led the first strike of non-stealth aircraft over Baghdad. He also served in Somalia and Afghanistan.

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Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 12/ 3/2007

Winners and Losers From the GOP Advance

The annual Virginia Republican Party Advance is the ultimate venue for schmoozing, jockeying for attention and laying the groundwork for future bids for office. So here's my take on the winners and losers of this weekend's event, which drew about 650 party activists and leaders to the Hyatt Regency at Crystal City.

Advance Winners -

Attorney General Bob McDonnell - The attorney general hosted a party for GOP activists on Friday and Saturday nights. Both were well attended, and there were plenty of people throughout the weekend wearing "Bob McDonnell" stickers. There also was a strong sentiment from GOP activists that McDonnell should run for governor in 2009, even if former governor and senator George Allen enters the race.

George Allen - While Allen wasn't nearly as visible as McDonnell was, the former governor and senator gave what many considered to be a strong, inspiring speech in support of Fred Thompson's presidential bid.

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Posted at 6:44 PM ET, 11/19/2007

Is Sen. Warner Still Unsure About Gilmore?

Will U.S. Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va) endorse former Gov. James S. Gilmore III''s bid for U.S. Senate?

It's difficult to tell from the statement the senior senator issued tonight.

Warner said Gilmore "has a record of extensive, credible public service." But Warner also hinted that some Republicans are looking for another GOP candidate to get into the race.

"Across the state there is a growing interest in putting forward a strong Republican slate of nominees - Senate and House - for the 2008 congressional elections," Warner said in his statement.

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Posted at 8:43 PM ET, 11/16/2007

Radio Discussion on Virginia Politics

Earlier today, I conducted a 20-minute interview with New York Public Radio about Virginia politics.

Amy Eddings, a guest host for the "The Leonard Lopate Show" on WYNC, wanted to know if Virginia really is turning blue? We discussed last week's state legislative elections and next year's presidential and U.S. Senate contests. I also took questions about the state's shifting demographics, illegal immigration and the role of military voters in state politics.

You can find an audio clip of the interview here.

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Posted at 3:17 PM ET, 11/15/2007

Doug Denneny Kicks Off Campaign for Congress

Doug Denneny, a retired Naval commander, has kicked off his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 11th District.

In a series of events this week, Denneny stressed his background and stance on the issues makes him best candidate to replace Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va), who has yet to announce whether he plans to seek reelection.

Denneny is calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq, universal access to health care and additional federal help for Northern Virginia's traffic problems.

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Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 11/12/2007

Corey Stewart Won't Run for Congress

Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said today he won't be a candidate for Congress next year.

Stewart, a Republican who was reelected last week with 55 percent of the vote, has been widely mentioned as a possible U.S. House candidate in the 11th District if Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Fairfax) decides not to seek reelection.

But Stewart said in an interview he has "never liked legislatures" and prefers being board chairman.

"The thought of being one of 435 people isn't appealing," Stewart said today. "Congress isn't all it's cracked up to be. You've got to run every two years, you are constantly campaigning."

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Posted at 10:52 PM ET, 11/ 8/2007

Parties to Choose Nominees for 1st District Election

Republicans and Democrats will meet tomorrow to pick nominees to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) in a special election Dec. 11.

Eleven Republicans will compete at their party's convention in Caroline County. Two Democrats will vie for the nomination at their party's convention in Williamsburg.

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Posted at 6:45 PM ET, 11/ 7/2007

Rep. Cantor Likes House -- For Now

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, a popular Republican who represents suburban Richmond, has been increasingly mentioned as a possible statewide candidate, even perhaps as a candidate in next year's U.S. Senate race against Democrat Mark R. Warner.

Many Republicans believe Cantor would be a formidable candidate in a statewide race because he is a proven fundraiser who has strong ties to both the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP. Cantor has also been mentioned as a possible future Speaker of the House if the Republicans regain control of Congress.

In an interview today, Cantor declined to rule out making a statewide bid for office. His quote is ripe for parsing.

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Posted at 4:58 PM ET, 11/ 7/2007

Byrne Officially Enters the Race for Congress

Democrat Leslie L. Byrne, the first woman to represent Virginia in Congress, said today she has filed papers to run for the U.S. House in a seat she held until she was defeated more than a decade ago.

U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R), who recently announced he would not run for U.S. Senate, has not yet said whether he will run for re-election in Virginia's 11th District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties.

"When I decided to do this, I decided to do this based on what I could bring to the race and to the 11th district,'' she said today.

Byrne, who hopes to work on consumer, budget and environmental issues, won the seat in 1992, but lost to Davis in 1994 in a national Republican landslide. She narrowly lost the race for lieutenant governor two years ago.

Davis' wife, Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax), lost her re-election bid by 10 percentage points Tuesday.

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Posted at 4:26 PM ET, 10/17/2007

Connolly and LBJ, Continued

There's a bit more to the story of the Lyndon Johnson photos in the conference room of Fairfax Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D).

As The Post mentioned in its Monday morning piece on Connolly's four year record as chairman, the series of photos, known as "The Johnson Treatment," show the then-Senate Majority Leader strongarming a committee chairman.

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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 10/17/2007

Voters like Kaine, Warner but not Assembly

A new poll shows former governor Mark R. Warner (D) with a nearly 2 to 1 lead in next year's U.S. Senate race over either one of his potential GOP challengers.

The poll by Christopher Newport University shows Warner beating either former governor James P. Gilmore III or Rep. Thomas M. Davis III by a margin of 24 points. If the election were held today, 51 percent of voters would support Warner while 27 percent said they would favor either Gilmore or Davis.

The Christopher Newport University survey also found that voters have a negative view of the Republican-controlled General Assembly, but they support Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

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Posted at 4:03 PM ET, 10/ 3/2007

Feder's Fund-Raising Prowess

Judy Feder, a Democrat who raised more than $1.5 million in her race to unseat U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) last year, has already raised a whopping $335,000 for her rematch in November 2008, her campaign has announced.

It's an impressive sum for so early in the game, but it's obviously no guarantee. Feder, dean of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, lost solidly to Wolf last year.

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