Campaigning in Virginia comes easy to veteran politicians like gubernatorial candidate Henry Howell who shouts, "This is Henry Howell campaigning for governor right here in (fill in the name of the town)" to large crowds, small crowds or no crowds.

For political newcomers, it can be an excruciating experience. "I haven't gotten the courage to walk up to strangers to introduce myself yet," says Embry Cobb Rucker, a political hopeful in the House of Delegates 18th District Democratic primary.

Political newcomers and veteran politicians in the June 14 primary know they have to get their names known among the voters to be successful.

Del. Ira M. Lechner, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, walked 300 miles from the North Carolina border to the Alexandria waterfront pushing his candidacy and pulling out support for his bill that would require mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders.

In rural Clarke County, supporters of Andrew Miller, who is cancelling Howell for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, are criss-crossing the county giving away seedling trees with the message, "Andy Miller wants to plant for your future."

Some candidates are passing out brochures and bumper stickers in municipal offices, shopping centers, college campuses and outside factory plants - something delegate candidate Rucker has not tried yet.

Rucker, a 62-year-old retired Episcopal priest, described his campaign as "low pressure." He said he hs mailed campaign literature to some voters and attended meeting and a few parties.

Like Rucker, Del. John L. Melnick, who is running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, was "reserved" at the start of his campaign, according to some Northern Virginia Democrats.

"He's not the kind to race across the street to greet people," said one Arlington Democrat, who recalled Melnick once decided against attending a political function because there wasn't someone there to introduce him.

Getting out and meeting potential voters is what the campaign is about, the candidates and campaign managers say.

"I have been taking it to the voters," said Clifford W. Overcash, who is running for the House of Delegates in the 18th District Republican primary. "I've been passing out leaflets in traffic - catching them at the red lights," he said.