President Obama’s reelection campaign is set to open its new Virginia headquarters in Richmond Saturday, expanding its footprint in a state that will be hotly contested through November.
The campaign opened offices in Fairfax and Newport News in December, and will be adding another location in Petersburg next week. But the Richmond office, at 408 E. Main Street, will be the hub of the operation. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones will be among the local luminaries in attendance at Saturday’s event, which begins at 11:30 a.m.
Obama won Virginia in 2008, the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to do so, and both parties now consider the state one of a handful that are truly competitive. The Obama campaign began airing its first ad last week in Virginia and other states, and the Republican National Committee has gone up with an anti-Obama spot.
Obama has a headstart on the eventual Republican nominee, with paid staffers now in place all over the state. Among the GOP contenders, only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) qualified for the ballot for Virginia’s March 6 primary, giving the candidates little reason to begin campaigning in the state now.