Virginia: Kaine Chooses Connolly in Hard-Fought Primary

Posted May 21, 2008 at 6:16pm

The Commonwealth’s biggest Democratic names are continuing to weigh in on the tight primary battle taking place in the Northern Virginia 11th district.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Kaine (D) announced that he is supporting Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) in his campaign against former Rep. Leslie Byrne (D). The announcement comes a little more than two months after Sen. Jim Webb (D) announced that he was backing Byrne.

Kaine called Connolly a “regional leader not only of Northern Virginia, but of the National Capital Region as well. … His ability to reach out and work with others — of both parties and across the National Capital Region and the Commonwealth — is legendary.

“I believe that this race has attracted four worthy and capable candidates, but for me, Gerry Connolly is the standout.” Kaine added.

Although the 11th district has been held by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Davis since 1994, the changing ethnic makeup of the suburban Washington, D.C., district combined with the fact that the Republican frontrunner has very little name identification has pundits predicting that the winner of the Democratic primary will be favored come November.

— John McArdle