The campaign headquarters of Virginia Republican candidate for governor Wyatt B. Durrette were searched electronically recently in an effort to find secret listening devices and other possible security breaches, a campaign spokesman said today.
Don Harrison, Durrette's press secretary, said nothing was found in the security sweep, but declined to say precisely when it was done or how many sweeps have been undertaken.
Harrison said the security sweep had "nothing to do with" recent reports in The Washington Post of internal disputes within the campaign or the leak of a poll that showed Durrette trailing Democrat Gerald L. Baliles by nine points.
Only three copies of the poll were distributed and the leak has caused consternation and staff conflicts within the Durrette operation, several Republicans have said.
Asked about whether security sweeps had been conducted at Baliles' headquarters here, a staff member responded, "Lord, no. We do watch our back door because we have two entrances."
The Durrette headquarters are in an aging office building in downtown Richmond, while Baliles' staff works out of a low-rise office building in the near West End of Richmond. Neither campaign has reported any break-ins or other suspicious behavior to police.