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Virginia Notebook

Virginia Notebook

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By Virginia Notebook
Thursday, July 16, 2009

This week's Notebook is a compilation of items from The Washington Post's "Virginia Politics" blog. To get your fix of Virginia politics throughout the week, check out http://blog.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics or http://www.washingtonpost.com/vablog.

The Wooing of Wilder

L. Douglas Wilder likes to keep everyone guessing.

The nation's first elected black governor has criticized state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) in the past, and Wilder declined to back him in the 2005 attorney general's race because of his position on guns.

Now that Deeds has won the Democratic nomination for governor, will Wilder support him? He won't say.

Wilder said in a recent interview that Deeds has called him a couple of times since the June 9 primary but that the two keep missing each other and have scheduled a meeting in the coming weeks. But Wilder also said that Republican Robert F. McDonnell has come calling, too.

Wilder said he wants to know where Deeds and McDonnell stand on issues before he gives his support to anyone. It's unlikely that Wilder would support a Republican, but he could decide to stay out of the race.

Wilder has not been shy about breaking ranks with his party.

In 1997, he refused to endorse Democrat Don Beyer in the governor's race, which helped Republican James S. Gilmore.

In 2006, he waited to endorse Democrat James Webb in his race against Republican George Allen until a week before Election Day.

-- ANITA KUMAR


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