Since at least 1965, every successful Virginia gubernatorial candidate has attended the Shad Planking the year he won election. With candidates, political operatives, activists and much of the state’s media all gathered on the same patch of ground, the event, held on the third Wednesday of April, had been a fixture of the electoral calendar. But this year’s Shad Planking was skipped by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and it has drawn among the smallest crowds in the event’s history.
April 17, 2013 Virginia Attorney General and presumed Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli shakes hands before giving the keynote speech during the annual Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va. The fundraiser for the local Ruritan Club is a traditional political event for statewide candidates in an election year. Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP Buy Photo