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Correction to This Article
In some Nov. 9 editions, an article about Timothy M. Kaine's victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election incorrectly referred to former governor A. Linwood Holton Jr. as a Democrat. Holton, Kaine's father-in-law, is a Republican.

Democrat Kaine Wins in Virginia

An Arlington Co. resident recieves voting permit at the Wilson School Polling station in Arlington Va.
An Arlington Co. resident recieves voting permit at the Wilson School Polling station in Arlington Va. (Steven King - Post.com)

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By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Virginians elected Democrat Timothy M. Kaine yesterday as the state's next governor, choosing him to continue the centrist legacy of popular Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and rejecting the Republican candidate for the state's top job a second time in four years.

Kaine, 47, emerged ahead of his Republican rival, former attorney general Jerry W. Kilgore, 44, who had worked for months to convince voters that Kaine was too liberal for the conservative state. Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. (R-Winchester), who ran as an independent, trailed far behind the major-party candidates.

"This has been a long and difficult campaign. . . . We've done it. We've done it," Kaine told a roaring crowd in Richmond just after 11 p.m. "Tonight, the people of Virginia have sent a message . . . that they like the path that we chose and they want to keep the state moving forward."

Kilgore spoke to his supporters in Richmond just after 10:30 p.m. "We fought hard," he said. "We fought diligently for limited government" and for schools. "And folks, that fight is not over. Tonight we may have lost a battle. But we have not lost, and will not lose, this war."

Kaine's party also succeeded in several contests for the House of Delegates in Northern Virginia. Democrats bested Republicans for several open seats. Democrat David E. Poisson defeated Del. Richard H. "Dick" Black (R-Loudoun), and Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William) won a close race against Democrat Hilda M. Barg.

Democrats' easy successes did not extend to the other statewide races. Republican state Sen. William T. "Bill" Bolling of Hanover County won the lieutenant governor's race against Democrat Leslie L. Byrne of Fairfax County, the only statewide candidate from populous Northern Virginia. Republican Del. Robert F. "Bob" McDonnell of Virginia Beach and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County remained in a tight race for attorney general.

Kaine watched as results came across a laptop computer in Suite 1706 of the Richmond Marriott. With him were three generations of governors: his father-in-law, A. Linwood Holton Jr., Warner and L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor. As Kaine was declared the winner, Holton had tears in his eyes, a Warner aide said.

Kilgore called at 10 p.m. to concede, Kaine aides said.

Kaine, the former mayor of Richmond, won handily across the inner suburbs of Northern Virginia and in Fairfax County, where the Democratic Party has been gaining strength in recent years. But he also posted big numbers in the conservative strongholds of the region's outer suburbs.

Kaine won in Loudoun and Prince William counties, where President Bush beat Democrat John F. Kerry by tens of thousands of votes a year ago.

Political observers said the results confirmed a steady westward expansion of such urban concerns as traffic and education.

"This is a huge shift of historic proportions for Fairfax County," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D). "You have to play in a moderate, centrist battlefield. Kilgore clearly went on a route too far afield, and he paid the price. . . . You are starting to see the march of moderate politics go out to the outer suburbs."


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