Virginia's Democrats

With the Democratic primary coming up, The Washington Post has been profiling the party's three major candidates for Virginia governor in recent days. (The ...
by | May 29, 2009

With the Democratic primary coming up, The Washington Post has been profiling the party's three major candidates for Virginia governor in recent days. (The Republican will be Bob McDonnell, who stepped down as state attorney general to run.)

The paper has endorsed Creigh Deeds but its coverage suggests its reporters think McAuliffe will win.

Former state Rep. Brian Moran:

Brian Moran For eight years, as Democratic caucus chair in the House of Delegates, he put 200,000 miles on his gold Toyota Highlander, traveling the state recruiting candidates, raising money, shaking hands at countless local gatherings, all with the aim of recapturing a Democratic majority in the House. His efforts netted 13 new Democratic seats, four seats shy of a majority, and some in areas so conservative that skeptics had told him he was crazy to try.

...

And now, after all those years of hard work, with a hotly contested three-way Democratic primary less than two weeks away, Brian Moran is finding that a whole bunch of voters still don't have any idea who he is.

Terry McAuliffe, former DNC chair:

Terry McAuliffe There is a certain amount of showmanship in any political race, but those who know McAuliffe best describe a man who was a barker before the political tents ever went up in Virginia. In his personal and professional life, McAuliffe has always talked louder, moved quicker and thought bigger than most of his peers.

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In many ways, the race to the June 9 primary among McAuliffe, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran is looking not unlike that gym. In speeches, the other candidates talk, and McAuliffe booms. Their signs sprout here and there; his bloom in clusters along major roadways. They speak about the environment; he holds events that require him to stand amid waste, wade through an algae pond and work on solar panels.

State Sen. Creigh Deeds:

Deeds Running as the underdog in the primary against Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran, Deeds said he plans to surprise people again. Although the race has been difficult to track, polls have repeatedly shown Deeds trailing McAuliffe and Moran. Deeds also spent the early months lagging in campaign money.

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Although Deeds has played up his Virginia heritage against opponents who were born and raised elsewhere, he also struggles against the perception that some of the conservative values common in rural America are out of sync with the Democratic mainstream.

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