Lt. Gov. John N. Dalton spent six hours in Alexandria yesterday working on a problem his gubernatorial campaign faces throughout Northern Virginia - name recognition.
"People don't know who he is here," said Tom Wasinger, Republican field coordinator. "Henry Howell (Dalton's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 8 election) has run for state office four times, before," so he tends to be recorgnized more frequently, Wasinger said.
Al Rider, a Dalton aide, said the people in the southern part of the state "come out of the stores to see Dalton, but here (in Alexandria) you just don't see that."
Instead, Dalton went from store to store along King Street, shaking hands with customers and prprietors and introducing himself as "your lieutenant governor, John Dalton."
Earlier Dalton took three black community leaders with him to visit some of Alexandria's predominantly black precints.
According to aides traveling with the candidate, one of the reasons for the visit to the black community was that "we aren't going to make the same mistake Andrew Miller made" in not securing the black vote. Miller lost to Howell in the June 7 primary in which the vast majority of black votes went to Howell, according to a Washington Post poll.
"We do plan to see to it that blacks are represented at the top levels of government," said Dalton. He said that at least 25 of his state campaign cochairmen are black.
In the six hours Dalton was in Alexandria he saw several hundred people, including elderly customers at Bill's Sanwiches. Mayor Frank Mann, and some members of the Old Dominion Boat Club. Accompany ing him were State Sen. Wiley Mitchell and Betty McCann, who ran and lost in the Eighth District Congressional race last year.
Along the route he spoke with Dennis Gallagher, curator of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, who told Dalton, "You don't have to worry about the troops here - 900 of them - (and I'll) get them to vote for you."
Morris Levinson, president of Levinson's Clothing Co., Inc., kept talking about how no one "running for governor has ever come into the shop before."
Dalton said he "sort of got torpedoed" in the Torpedo Factory art center when two people said flatly that they wouldn't vote for him - one said he never voted for anyone who had ever been in office, and the second said she came from a staunch Democratic precint.