Deeds announces run for governor
Charlottesville's state senator, Creigh Deeds, who last ran for statewide office in 2005 in a bruising race for attorney general and narrowly lost by 327 votes to Republican Bob McDonnell. Deeds' announcement today that he's running for governor in 2009 means there could be another Deeds/McDonnell dust-up in our future.
Styling himself as a Mark Warner/Tim Kaine type Democrat, Deeds promises to offer the same sort of leadership as the two popular governors. "I've worked in the legislature and I'm a pragmatic problem solver and not ideologically driven," says Deeds in a phone call after his video announcement on a website. "What their brand means is they've raised the bar by not talking as Democrats or Republicans, but as Virginians. Politics should be about how we move the ball forward to make Virginia the best place for everyone."
Once Warner decided to pursue the U.S. Senate seat soon-to-be vacated by John Warner and not another stint as Virginia's governor, Deeds made his decision to go for the gubernatorial ball. "I was going to defer to Governor Warner," says Deeds. "And I wasn't going to rain on the parade of legislative candidates or the special election last Tuesday." Beyond that, he says, he saw no reason to wait to make the announcement, and is the first candidate to do so.
"I think I'm the best one– the best Democrat who can get votes every part of Virginia," declares Deeds.
He won a special election in 2001 to represent the bizarrely shaped 25th District, which stretches from the West Virginia border, including Deeds' mountainous home county of Bath, to Charlottesville, when state Senator Emily Couric died. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991, and before that was the Bath County commonwealth's attorney.
While McDonnell has not formally announced a bid for governor, he hasn't hidden an interest in the position, say state political pundits. So if it's Deeds v. McDonnell again, how does Deeds hope to best his former rival this time?
"I got no control over who it is," says Deeds. "I've just got to say focused. I lost the last race by 300 votes and I was outspent 2 to 1." For this race, he says, Deeds vows to raise the money necessary.