The Election: The Republican Party, which has dominated Virginia's statewide elections in recent years, is trying to retake the governorship Nov. 8 after losing it to Democrat Mark R. Warner in 2001.
The Major Parties: The Republicans are likely to nominate former attorney general Jerry W. Kilgore in the June 14 primary, though he faces a long-shot challenge from Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch. The Democrats are likely to pick Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
The Potts Factor: Stepping in to complicate matters is Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. of Winchester, who announced his "independent Republican" candidacy Feb. 25. Potts is a centrist who decries what he sees as the rightward drift of the GOP. He could draw votes from Kilgore or Kaine.
Payback: He outraged GOP leaders, many of whom are trying to oust him from the party and from his Senate committee assignments.
What Potts Says: "They don't have the power to tell me whether I'm a Republican or not. Only God and myself have the power to do that."