Virginia Democrats decided over the weekend to hold a primary election to nominate its 2013 candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
The Democratic Party”s state central committee approved the nominating process Saturday at its quarterly meeting in Stafford County. It will be the fourth straight election cycle in which Democrats have held an open primary to choose its candidates for Virginia’s top three state government offices.
In 2001 and 2005, the party had no competition at the top of the ticket. The nominees for governor — Mark Warner in 2001 and Tim Kaine in 2005 — went on to win the general election. In 2009, state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County won a three-way primary for the gubernatorial nomination, but lost the general election to Republican Bob McDonnell.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who lost to Deeds in 2009, is expected to run for governor again next year.
Republicans initially decided to hold a primary to nominate its 2013 statewide ticket. But pro-convention members gained a majority on the party’s state central committee earlier this year and reversed that decision, despite objections from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is running for governor. The GOP will hold a convention next year to decide whether to nominate Bolling or Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to lead the party’s ticket.
– Michael Sluss