Posted at 10:25 PM ET, 11/17/2005

The Richmond Report

Here it is. What you've all been waiting for. The new Richmond blog from the Washington Post.

It's called the Richmond Report, and you can find it here.

Feel free to keep Race to Richmond bookmarked so you can relive all those wonderful moments in Campaign 2005. But please direct your attention to the new blog for all the fun, lively commentary you've come to expect here.

Thanks.

Mike Shear

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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 11/15/2005

Stay Tuned...

Thanks to all the loyal readers of this blog. (Both of you). It's been a blast.

But don't change this channel. We'll be launching another Richmond politics blog soon.

Come back here for the link.

Mike Shear & Chris Jenkins

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Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 11/ 9/2005

What Dems Say on AG Race

Post reporter Carol Morello was in Richmond this morning for the Democrats' press conference, and she filed this report about the situation in the attorney general's race:

Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, said today that voting machines in the Roanoke area had malfunctioned and he had appointed a team to prepare for a state-paid recount.

In separate remarks, Governor-elect Timothy M. Kaine said the margin in what is the closest race in Virginia history was within the percentage point required to request a recount.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure every vote is counted," said Deeds after strolling into a meeting room at the Marriott Hotel in Richmond a few minutes before Kaine was about to give his first post-election news conference.

Deeds stopped short of alleging fraud, and said he did not know what had happened. But he cited "anecdotal evidence" or irregularities reported in both Roanoke County and the city.

"People pushed the touch screen for my name, and on the final page they had voted for Bob McDonnell," he said, naming his Republican opponent.

As of this morning, Deeds said, only about 3,000 votes separated the two candidates, which he said was about .16 of a percentage point of all votes cast. The irregularity was noticed and "it finally cleared up," he added.

Deeds also said that in some localities he did not receive the number of votes he had anticipated. "Perhaps I miscaluclated," he allowed.

Deeds said he had appointed both a transition team and a recount team and predicted it could take as long as a month for the election to be settled.

"It's not over," he said. "When every vote's counted, I'm going to be the next attorney general of Virginia."

In the meantime, he said, he was returning to his home and family in Bath County.
"I've got horses that need to be fed," he said. "I've got kids I need to hold again."

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Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 11/ 9/2005

Why Did it Happen?

What do the readers of Race to Richmond think? Why did Tim Kaine win? Was it his message? Were voters angry with Jerry Kilgore and his negative campaigning? Or did they want to send a message to George Bush?

And what kind of governor will Kaine be? He's made a bunch of promises during the campaign -- what he would do and what he would not do. Will he keep those promises?

And what do you think the 2006 General Assembly session will be like? Will there be a fight over transportation taxes? How will the Republican House and Senate treat Kaine?

Also, what do you think about the other statewide races. Bill Bolling won a narrow victory over Leslie Byrne, and it looks like Bob McDonnell holds a tiny, tiny lead over Creigh Deeds. What were the voters saying with those choices?

Here is your chance to weigh in.

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Posted at 11:27 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

Election Results, Full Coverage

Check out our special report for final results in the Virginia governor's race and other state elections, post-election analysis, live discussions, photos and video excerpts from the Kaine and Kilgore camps in Richmond.

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Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

Report From Loudoun County

Reporter Rosalind S. Helderman files a new report:

More voices from Seldens Landing Elementary School, precinct 813 in Loudoun, where voters continued to stream in all afternoon. Representatives from both Del. Richard H. Black (R)'s campaign and his opponent David Poisson (D) were on hand through the afternoon handing out sample ballots for their parties and chatting amiably with each other.

Jorge Sanchez, 42, and his wife, Marleny Palacios, 38, said they used to vote pretty reliably Republican -- until this year. That's because Kilgore's strong stance on illegal immigration bothered them the couple, each of whom immigrated to the United States from El Salvador more than 20 years ago.

"The way I see it, the Republicans were more business orientated and were more interested in the economy," Sanchez said. "But now they're trying to confuse people. They tried to use scare tactics. We have bigger problems than immigration. Right now, the biggest problem we have is the economy and the war we have. The biggest problem is not people trying to work for a living."

...continue >>

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Posted at 4:18 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

Report From Herndon

From reporter Nikita Stewart, in Herndon:

At Herndon Elementary School at about 11:45 a.m., there was a steady stream of voters of all races and from diverse backgrounds. Taxes, immigration and negative campaigning shaped the voters' decisions in the community rocked recently by the town council's decision to fund a center for day laborers to ease loitering at a busy intersection. Voting generally went along party lines.

Rosa Flores, 62, said she voted for Kaine because she is an immigrant. Although she moved to the United States from Peru 22 years ago, she said Kilgore's stance on immigrants and the center would hurt Hispanic immigrants' ability to work and thrive. "I want more opportunities for my immigrant people," said Flores, who works on a hotel service staff. "Maybe government can help them find jobs."

On the other side, Graham and Renee Inge took the day off and brought along their 8-year-old daughter, Sarah, to cast their ballots for Kilgore. They said they were both against the day laborers center and so was Kilgore. Funding a center is "kind of like, sure, be illegal," said Graham Inge, 32, who manages a furniture store.

...continue >>

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Posted at 3:56 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

Report from Alexandria

From reporter Michael Alison Chandler in Alexandria:

At Douglas MacArthur Elementary School in a leafy Alexandria neighborhood, volunteers decorated in stickers staffed card tables piled high with fliers and tipped over Dunkin Donuts coffee cups.

Democratic precinct captain Dick Hobson reviewed the results from past elections. Mark Warner won by 62 percent four years ago and John Kerry won 63 percent last fall, he said. The Democrats are hoping to increase the margin of victory for Kaine today.

"I'm an independent voter. That's important to me," said Elena Velasco, 34, an actor and director and mother of 5, including two young daughters hanging on hand. She said she and her son researched the candidates together as he was working on a homework assignment for his 8th grade civics class.

"I was really appalled and disheartened to hear Kilgore's views on illegal immigration," she said, in particular his opposition to building a day labor center for illegal immigrants in Herndon. "That sealed it that I wouldn't vote for him."

...continue >>

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Posted at 3:50 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

From Northern Virginia's 37th House District

From reporter Leef Smith in the 37th House District, a swath of Northern Virginia that includes Fairfax City:

At 2 p.m., it seemed like there were more campaign volunteers than voters at Woodson High School in Fairfax County.

Several voters exiting the polls said it was the annoying but persistent leaflet and advertising campaigns that got them out to cast their ballots.

One man, a 47-year-old naturalized citizen who has been living in the United States since his family moved from Iran 31 years ago, said he is unhappy with Kaine's stand supporting benefits for illegal immigrants and came out to vote for Kilgore.

He criticized Kaine's position, which he said advocates the use of public dollars to help immigrants, effectively helping big corporations by giving them cheap labor.

"We're getting ripped off as taxpayers," said the man, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. "We had to go through a number of challenges to become citizens [when we came from Iran]. And we had to learn the language. So it means a lot to me that people follow the same rules."

...continue >>

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Posted at 3:41 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

Kilgore Votes

Post reporter Michelle Boorstein went to the polling place in Glen Allen where Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore voted this morning. Here's her report:

All the way until Election Day, until he cast his vote in a little elementary school gym, Jerry Kilgore was still trying to clarify one message above all others: I am very, very different from Tim Kaine.
"We are the two most different candidates to ever run," for governor in Virginia, he said, repeating words he uses regularly. Kaine, he said, is "an instinctive liberal."

...continue >>

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Posted at 3:36 PM ET, 11/ 8/2005

A Report From Voters in Loudoun

Post reporter Rosalind S. Helderman spent the morning at a polling place in Loudoun County. Here's a report from her:

Voters who live in fast-growing Loudoun County's Precinct 813 arrived steadily through the morning at their polling place in the Seldens Landing Elementary School, in the Lansdowne on the Potomac development.

They were greeted by both Republican and Democratic party volunteers who stood ready to hand out sample ballots. As they emerged from the polling place, they were also met by representatives of the slow-growth group Campaign for Loudoun's Future, who stood next to a large map showing approved developments in the county and asking each voter, "Are you interested in growth issues in Loudoun?" before taking names and e-mail addresses. Voters could also take bumper stickers with the message: "Don't supersize Loudoun."

Inside the school, Republican volunteer Jocelyn Tchakounte, 50, sat quietly with a massive listing of the area's registered voters on his lap. Tchakounte said he was listening carefully as voters gave their names to poll workers and trying to mark as many names of his list as he could hear. He would then give the listings to the Republican Party -- for purposes yet to be determined.

"It'll depend on what the leaders want to do," said Tchakounte, who came equipped with rules about what he could and couldn't do inside the polling place -- no buttons or stickers allowed, he said. "It's really just to see the voter turnout."

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