Creigh Deeds wins Virginia Democratic primary

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Creigh Deeds has defeated Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran to win the 2009 Democratic Party gubernatorial primary election in Virginia, United States, according to unofficial results from the state's board of elections.

Deeds won by a nearly two-to-one margin against his opponents, 50% for Deeds versus 26% for McAuliffe and 24% for Moran, on a low turnout with just six and a half per cent of registered voters taking part.

Jody Wagner easily won the Democratic primary to be candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Creigh Deeds was the first to enter the governors' race, in early January 2008. A sitting senator in the Virginia legislature, Deeds' campaign was hampered by restrictions on his ability to fundraise and the amount of time he spent on the Senate floor. A veteran of state politics who ran as a centrist in Virginia, whose northern counties are increasingly dominated by Democratic voters but whose western and southern areas still tend to support Republicans, Deeds benefited from several high-profile endorsements including that of the Washington Post. What may have clinched Deeds' victory, though, was a strategy of saturating online media sources with campaign advertisements, finished with a "google blast" of particularly intense advertising on Election Day itself.

Terry McAuliffe, an early favorite to win the race, was formerly the chair of the Democratic National committee and later chair of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, and entered the Virginia race just days after Election Day 2008. A New Yorker by birth with much experience in the Democratic party, McAuliffe's best skill was seen as his ability to raise funds in what analysts say will be an early test of whether Democrats, who won control of the White House and solidified control of both houses of Congress in 2008, can consolidate their gains in light of a contracting economy and an ongoing financial crisis.

Brian Moran, a former public prosecutor and former member of the Virginia State House, entered the race shortly after Deeds. His brother, Jim Moran, currently represents the part of Virginia closest to Washington, DC in the United States House of Representatives.

Polling before the vote showed Deeds pulling ahead from a statistical tie in May, but the likelihood of low turnout made the race hard to predict.

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell ran unopposed for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. McDonnell, who defeated Deeds by a fraction of a percent in the 2005 Virginia Attorney General race, currently holds a strong advantage over him in the fall general election, according to a recent poll conducted by the political blog DailyKos.

Voters will elect a new governor to replace outgoing governor and rising Democratic star Tim Kaine on November 3.


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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.