Politico reports that former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder, the state’s first and only black governor, has declined to endorse Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds. Wilder withheld his endorsement even after President Obama intervened on Deeds’ behalf through a telephone call.
I don’t know just how important Wilder’s endorsement is these days, but it must be consequential; otherwise Obama would not have become involved. For its part, Politico describes Wilder’s decision as “a significant blow to the Deeds campaign” because “his comments still carry sway in the state’s black community, and Deeds needs strong, enthusiastic turnout among African-American voters in Richmond and the Tidewater to win the governorship.”
By way of explanation, Wilder cited Deeds’ support for the repeal of Virginia’s gun law which restricts purchases to one handgun a month, a law Wilder pushed for as governor. He also criticized Deeds’ support for tax increases to help fund transportation projects. The latter is a position that figures to hurt Deeds across a broad range of constituencies.
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