Virginia Democrats rally on campus

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June 13, 2009

3:20 PM

“Our candidate is clearly a rain maker,” Virginia Democratic Senator Warner said as a loud clap of thunder rang out over the crowd gathered for the Democratic Unity Rally at the College of William and Mary Saturday.

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds then linked hands with fellow Democratic candidates Jody Wagner, who is running for lieutenant governor, and Steve Shannon, who is running for Virginia attorney general, and the trio raised their hands into the air.

The “unified” ticket smiled as rain began to fall and the audience scrambled for their cars.

On what began as a sunny day, several hundred people gathered on the lawn outside of the College’s Alumni House for the rally. The rally aimed to bring Virginian Democrats together under the party’s ticket for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, determined in the primaries Tuesday.

At 12:30 p.m., Deeds, Wagner and Shannon joined Governor Tim Kaine, Senator Jim Webb, Congressman Bobby Scott and Warner in addressing the crowd.

“We have a very unique ticket this year,” Webb said. “We have a ticket that is geographically balanced, that is truly historic. We have got tremendous candidates …We have a team here that will be representing the types of values and leadership that has been set in motion by [previous Democratic leaders.]”

Shannon and Wagner spoke briefly on Virginia’s accolades and how the ticket would continue keep the Commonwealth in high standing.

“I know that Creigh Deeds, Steve Shannon and I know how to keep Virginia a best managed state, make sure we stay the best state for business, and, most importantly, the best state in which to raise a child,” Wagner said.

After several other speakers, Kaine introduced Deeds.

“I’m going to cut to the bottom line,” Kaine said, eyeing the dark clouds moving overhead. “I love me some Creigh Deeds.”

Deeds took to the podium and began by thanking Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe, who ran against him in the primary.

“We are all one family now,” Deeds said. “We can win this thing together.

“Under the leadership of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine we have changed Virginia,” he continued. “We are taking this state forward. In this election the choices will be stark. Do we move back to failed policies of the past or do we move forward?”

As the wind began to pick up, Deeds smiled and thanked the crowd for coming out to support the ticket.

Deeds’ competition for governor is Republican Bob McDonnell, the state’s current attorney general. Coincidentally, Deeds lost the attorney general race to McDonnell by only 323 votes in 2005.

Despite this previous defeat, Deeds, as well as all other rally attendees, is confident that he can beat McDonnell in November.

“The stakes are much higher in this election,” Deeds said after the rally. “And, you know, there are stark differences between Bob and me. He had $6 million and I had $3 million, so there was a difference in money. I came from Bath County and he is from Fairfax, so there was that difference. Virginia was more Republican during that election.”

Rain may have kept the rally short, but those in attendance as well as the many speakers, were excited about the Democratic ticket in the November 3 election.

“Let me tell you this, I grew up on a farm and rain is a good thing.” Deeds said. “Rain is a sign of luck. So bring it on, Lord, we are ready.”

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