The first black elected to the state Senate since Reconstruction is running for lieutenant governor despite some Democrats' fears that his candidacy will hurt the party. Wilder, 53, who made his announcement in front of a portrait of the late Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr., said Virginia has changed enough since the Byrd era that he can win. ROBERT H. PRY/High Tech Job

Pry, 60, is the president of the newly formed Center for Innovative Technology, and much of the success or failure of this undertaking will rest on his shoulders. Pry, a retired electronics executive, will try to transform Northern Virginia into a high-tech center. DAVID H. LAWS/A Laboring Job

Laws, 50, is the new president of the AFL-CIO in Virginia. Laws has the difficult task of trying to forge a new course for the AFL-CIO in Virginia, where labor has been weak and right-to-work laws are widely supported by most politicians. ALLYN R. SIELAFF/Number Three

The new chief of Virginia's prison system faces rebuilding a corrections department reeling from a series of prison breaks and disturbances. Sielaff, 53, gained a national reputation as a liberal prison reformer in three other states, a label some conservative Virginia officials say may hamper his efforts as Robb's third corrections head in three years. G. RICHARD PFITZNER/Lining Up Votes

Pfitzner, 39, a Democratic supervisor in Prince William County, appears on the verge of unseating Democratic County Board Chairman Kathleen K. Seefeldt. Pfitzner, often boisterous in meetings but considered politically shrewd, has lined up four votes on the seven-member County Board, which elects a chairman from its own ranks.