Friday, March 04, 2005
Roanoke senator drops statewide nomination bid
Posted 12:21 p.m.: Sen. John Edwards has dropped plans to seek the Democratic nomination for Virginia attorney general.
RICHMOND — Roanoke state Sen. John Edwards has dropped plans to seek the Democratic nomination for Virginia attorney general, saying he could not devote enough time to mount a competitive campaign.
Edwards' decision leaves state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County as the lone candidate for the Democratic nomination, which will be determined in a June 14 primary. It also means that Democrats will have just one contested race on the primary ballot, with four candidates seeking the nomination for lieutenant governor. Tim Kaine, the incumbent lieutenant governor, has no opponent for the gubernatorial nomination
"I have decided not to seek the office of attorney general this year," Edwards said this morning. "I have found I simply do not have the time this year to take off from my busy law practice and campaign full time. I also love my work in the state Senate representing the Roanoke and New River valleys. It is a wonderful district."
Deeds said today that he respected Edwards' decision, but would not take the nomination for granted.
"I look forward to working hard to get his support and getting the people who supported him to support me," Deeds said.
Two Republicans are running for attorney general: Del. Bob McDonnell of Virginia Beach and Richmond lawyer Steve Baril. The GOP also will have contested primaries June 14 for governor and lieutenant governor.
Edwards had raised only $82,590 through the end of 2004, and $36,000 of that came was transferred from his Senate campaign committee, according to data complied by the Virginia Public Access Project. Deeds had raised $433,142 by the same date. The two Republicans candidates have raised more than $1 million each.
Edwards, 61, sought the nomination in 2001, finishing second in a four-way primary won by former Del. Donald McEachin of Henrico County. Edwards received 29.5 percent of the vote in that race, leaving him 4 percentage points behind McEachin.
Edwards, a Roanoke native and former federal prosecutor, served on the Roanoke City Council before winning his Senate seat in 1995. He is most recognized for sponsoring legislation to make character education part of the public school curriculum. He also sponsored legislation allowing the state to designate "highway safety corridors" on certain segments of interstates. He won a third Senate term in 2003 without opposition.