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In what the Washington Post called a “stunning win,” R. Creigh Deeds won the Democratic primary for Governor on Tuesday. Deeds is a state legislator who beat the financial kingpin of the Bill Clinton era, Terry McAuliffe. One thing that was “stunning” about the victory, at least to the Post, was that Deeds hails from “rural Bath County,” but beat the more urbane McAuliffe across the Commonwealth.
Deeds played up his rural background. (He comes from the west central portion of the state, on the West Virginia border.) He ran as a conservative Democrat, supporting gun owners’ rights and voting for an increase in a gas tax. “Deeds defended his stances and said his rural background and centrist philosophy would better position him to forge compromises on difficult political issues such as transportation funding and expanding background checks at gun shows,” according to an analysis by Michael Sluss of the Roanoke Times.
Deeds won this three-way race across the state. (The third Democrat was Brian Moran; Deeds will face Republican Robert F. McDonnell in the Fall.) Deeds even won in urban Northern Virginia, where Moran was thought to have an advantage. Deeds won 10 of the state’s 11 congressional districts, won in the cities and then, according to one analysis, “smoked ’em in rural Virginia.”